Come march with National Shomrim in the Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 4, 2023! This event kicks off our official start of summer and there’s no better way to enjoy the day than by marching with our delegation up the iconic Fifth Avenue in New York City. This year’s parade will be very special as it commemorates the 75th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. All Shomrim members are invited to the pre-parade collation, which begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street. After a traditional New York breakfast of bagels, cream cheese and pastries, with a coffee regular (if you’re from NY you know what that is!), we’ll head over to the intersection of 56th Street and Fifth Avenue at about 10:30, where we’ll step off and start our march to the cheering crowds. There’s no better way to show our Jewish pride, so make your plans to join us in supporting our ancestral homeland and the Jewish community, especially in this time of rising antisemitism in our great country.
Although we’ve got the summer months ahead of us, our plans for the National Shomrim convention in January 2024 continues. We are inviting all our members and their family and friends to join us on board the brand new Celebrity Ascent the week of January 28, 2024. The Ascent will once again make history as the first ship anywhere to have two captains – brothers Captain Tasos Kafetzis and Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis – at the helm. We’ve still got a few cabins left so don’t delay in booking. Once they’re gone, our special price will be gone and anyone who wants to attend will have to pay the Celebrity price, which will be much higher that what our official cruise planner was able to guarantee from Celebrity. Our cruise will visit St. Kitts, San Juan and Tortola, and our price includes the classic beverage package, free internet and prepaid gratuities. Please contact our official National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo at email@example.com to book a cabin at our special rate. This isn’t the first time Celebrity makes history with their captain. At the 2023 National Shomrim convention we met the first female captain of an American cruise ship, and Captain Kate McCue honored us by attending our private cocktail party and swearing in our incoming National Shomrim board. We’ll definitely extend an invitation to either Captain Tasos or Captain Dimitrios for our 2024 convention. The Ascent will have its maiden voyage in December 2023, so we’ll once again enjoy our events, private parties, meetings and speakers on a beautiful, brand new ship.
We’re also inviting any convention attendee who would like to give a talk at our convention to reach out to convention co-chairperson Marty Turetzky. Our Signature Speakers Series is very popular and we’re always looking for any attendee who would like to give a short presentation on any topic of interest to our crowd. Email Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org to put yourself into the speakers lineup.
National Police Memorial Week will take place the weekend of May 13-14-15, 2023, and Shomrim of D.C. will be hosting the Annual Kaddish Service at the Police Memorial, Judiciary Square, Washington D.C., on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Attendees are asked to arrive by 8:45 a.m. as there is limited seating for this annual commemoration of our fallen officers. Following the ceremony there will be a collation at 441 4th Street NW, a three minute walk from the Memorial. For more information please email Shomrim of D.C. President Jay Gruber at email@example.com.
The National Shomrim Facebook page is continually updated with job opportunities, chapter events, member news and lots of other information. Every chapter member and associate member should ask to join the Facebook page. Additionally, there are many posts of the popular “Coffee with a Cop” events in different cities across the country. There’s also posts where police departments have meet and greets with their communities, or have fundraisers or display their equipment in parks at community fairs. We’re asking all members across the country to make every effort to attend these so we can identify and sign up Jewish members of those departments. In some cases they might be the lone Jewish officer in their department and have no idea that an organization like National Shomrim exists that is exclusive to their beliefs. Get their email and forward it to the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com. We’ll make sure to reach out to introduce them to our great organization.
We’ve also come across individuals who ask to join our Facebook page who are not Jewish, are not active or retired LEOs/FFs, etc., and are not members of a Shomrim chapter. Often these individuals mention the name of a Shomrim member as a reference. Please remember that the National Shomrim Facebook page is a closed group, and anyone asking to join must be an active or retired member of a police or fire department (and other public service departments and agencies), and must be a member of a Shomrim chapter. If they are in an area where there is no Shomrim chapter, then they must first join National Shomrim as Associate Members. So please review any of your friends requests to join the Facebook page and make sure they meet the requirements.
CHAPTER NEWS AND EVENTS
NYPD Shomrim has several events coming up over the next few months, so make plans to attend as many as you can!
- You don’t have to be old, just hungry, to attend their 9th Annual Old Timers Luncheon and Medicycle Dedication on Thursday, May 16, 2023, at Ben’s Koshers Deli, 211-37 26th Avenue, Bayside, NY. NYPD Shomrim has been raising money over the past several years for a Medicycle to donate to the State of Israel, and now that they’ve achieved their goal, the dedication will take place at 11:00 a.m., with lunch following the ceremony at 12:00 noon. Please send your check for $45.00, payable to NYPD Shomrim Society, to Shomrim Society, 2271 4th Street, East Meadow, NY 11554, att: Paul Daniel. RSVP no later than Monday May 8, 2023, or you can call Paul at (516) 731-6977 or email Shomrim.OldtimersLuncheon@gmail.com.
- Thursday, June 1, 2023, will be the NYPD Shomrim Annual Dinner Dance, at Da Mikele Palazzo, 69-02 Garfield Avenue, Queens, NY 11377. This elegant event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and tickets are $150 in advance or $175 at the door and can be purchased at theticketing.com/Shomrim2023 or by sending a check, payable to NYPD Shomrim Society, to Shomrim Society, P.O. Box 934, Planetarium Station, NY, NY 10024. Table reservations can be made by calling Joe Cohen at (917) 900-8556, Larry Wein at (929) 354-7476 or Jesse Cohen at (917) 6121. The boards of National Shomrim and NYPD Shomrim will be sworn in at the dinner dance, so make your reservations quickly, as tables fill up quickly.
- The Annual Family Picnic will be held on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18, 2023, at 12:00 noon, at the historic Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY. There will be a kosher bbq and lots of fun stuff for kids, including a rock wall and interactive activities with the various NYPD units, including mounted, Highway, ESU, Aviation and so much more, so email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
The annual joint Shomrim trip to Israel, organized by NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10 thru Thursday, October 19, 2023. Travelers to our ancestral homeland will visit sites important to us, including the Kotel, the Jewish Quarter and many other locations mentioned in the Torah. The 75th Anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel makes this trip even more important, as there are remembrances of the War of Independence still scattered throughout the country. Please contact trip organizers Elliot Cohen at (847) 778-7272, Steven Lane at (917) 478-1078, Gordon Nash at (561) 632-7764, Sam Miller at email@example.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shomrim of Illinois invites members and friends to all their very popular events:
- The Lox and Bagels Shoot on Sunday, April 30, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Caliber Gun Range in Waukegan, Illinois. Prices for members are $15.00 and guests are $20.00
- Sunday, July 30, 2023, is the Annual Picnic at Camp Apachi in Glenview. This mid summer event is free for members and guests
- The 25th Annual Golf Outing will be held on Monday, August 7, 2023, at the Arboretum Golf Club in Buffalo Grove. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and the shotgun start will be at 10:00 a.m. The fee is $150 per golfer and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, prizes, the riding cart and the golf game.
- The Annual Reception at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie is scheduled for Thursday, November 9, 2023. Details will be in a future newsletter.
- Chanukah! Date, time and details to be announced later on in the year.
For information or to RSVP to any of these event, please email Bruce.Rottner@gmail.com.
South Florida Shomrim Society will hold their Annual Dinner Dance on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at Temple Solel in Hollywood, Florida. Watch this space for details.
Save the Date for the Port Authority Shomrim Annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the 8th night of Chanukah.
Mazal tov to the incoming board of Nassau Shomrim! The following members have been elected to their new positions recently:
- President – Det. Joe Oginski
- Vice President – PO Keith Cohen
- Executive Vice President – Aux Insp Danny Gluck
- Treasurer – Lt. Shevy Berkovits
- Secretary – PO Hanna Kuvshynova
- Sgt-At-Arms – PO Jason Geller
Good luck and we look forward to meeting all of you at our next National Shomrim event!
Port Authority Shomrim member Barry Daskal is asking for raffle items for Beyond the Badge, a 501(c)(3) organization that was created to raise awareness of the rising suicide rates in the law enforcement community. The mission of Beyond the Badge is to break the stigma of mental health issues in first responders. They will be holding their 3rd Annual Cigars and Casino Night Fundraiser on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, NY. Items that Beyond the Badge is requesting for donations include gift cards, theme park tickets, sporting events ticket, and many others. Sponsorships are also available and email them at Info@BeyondTheBadgeNY.org. Please contact Barry directly at BJMD2011@aol.com for a complete list of requested items and he’ll make the arrangements to pick up any donations.
The FDNY Ner Tamid Board was happy to announce the birth of Cienna Jade Scharf, daughter of member FF Andrew Scharf. Baby Cienna was born on March 13, 2023. The Scharf family are all doing great.
Mazal tov to FDNY Ner Tamid Trustee Barton Fendelman who recently became engaged to Carisa Schloeman.
Congratulations to Nassau Shomrim President Gary Koffsky, who recently retired with 32 years of service with the Nassau County Police Dept. Retiring out of the Detective Squad, where he spent 25 years in that position, Gary learned the ropes in various units, including Patrol, Bias Crimes, Community Affairs, Special Investigations, Precinct Squad until he found a home in the Central Detective Squad. Welcome to the check of the month club Gary!
Congratulations to NYPD Shomrim President Philip Weisbord on his promotion to Detective Investigator, NYPD Shomrim Second Vice President Joshua Zucker on his promotion to Detective Investigator; and to NYPD Shomrim member Igor Pinkhasov to Inspector.
Birthday blessings go out to Shomrim of Illinois longtime member and past president Sonny Lukatsky! And a very happy 75th birthday to the Director of Special Events and a 52 year member of Shomrim of Illinois, the incomparable Elliot Cohen! Elliot has been a driving force in Shomrim since he joined all those years ago and is always one of the first to step up when help is needed or a project is in the planning stages. Congratulations Elliot, and here’s to the next 75 years!
Shomrim of Illinois chaplain Rabbi Moshe Wolf recently received an award from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Rabbi Wolf regularly visits the staff at OEMC, bringing hope and kind words. Well deserved! And Mazal Tov to Associate Member Scott Tzinberg on his appointment as an Associate Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County. Scott has been a huge supporter of their chapter for many years.
Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz, the chaplain for the Yonkers (NY) Police Dept., recently hosted Jewish members of the Yonkers PD for Shabbat dinner at the Chabad of Yonkers. We’re trying to recruit the few Jewish members of the Yonkers PD for National Shomrim, so if anyone has contacts there please get in touch with them and send their emails to the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com and we’ll sign them up.
NorCal Shomrim President Jerome Cobert recently became a volunteer ranger for the State of Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Jerome and his wife Yvonne made aliyah to Israel a few years ago and have embraced life in our ancestral homeland.
With sadness, several members said goodbye to their loved ones:
- NYPD Shomrim mourned the death of Life Member Lt. Erwin “Slim” Brown, who went to his eternal rest February 17, 2023
- National Shomrim Associate Member Fred Kanter thanked all his family and friends who came to show support to his family on the passing of their dear mother Trudy Kanter
- Port Authority Shomrim lost longtime member Irwin Bressler in March. He leaves behind his wife Gigi, son Howard and several grandchildren.
- Deepest condolences to Sharon Pomerantz, First Lady of Port Authority Shomrim, whose mother Linda Semaria passed away on March 26, 2023, after a brief illness.
- Barry Poltorak of Shomrim of Southern California was heartbroken to announce the passing of his beloved grandfather, Samuel Franen, who lived a full life and passed away at age 98.
May the memories of Erwin “Slim” Brown, Trudy Kanter, Irwin Bressler, Linda Semaria and Samuel Franen be for a blessing for their families and may the Brown, Kanter, Bressler, Pomerantz and Poltorak families all know only happiness from now on.
Patrolman Max Hirsch of the Baltimore City Police was the first Jewish police officer of that department killed in the line of duty. On February 14, 1935, Patrolman Hirsch died from injuries sustained while investigating a burglary. He was 41 years old. According to news reports, Patrolman Hirsch had gone to a garage to capture a burglar reported in that area. The burglar escaped and Patrolman Hirsch slipped and fell from the second floor of the garage to the concrete floor below. His colleagues didn’t know that he had been injured until he staggered into a nearby firehouse and said, “I fell.” He lapsed into unconsiousness and died of a skull fracture. Patrolman Hirsch left behind a wife and two children. Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum, the current chaplain of the Baltimore Police Department, was determined to find his grave on the 88th anniversary of Patrolman Hirsch’s death. He found his resting place at Ohel Yaacov Beth Israel Cemetery in Baltimore and said the memorial prayers for Patrolman Hirsch. May the memory of Chaim Mordechai ben Yitzchok be for a blessing for all the Baltimore City Police Officers and for his family.
Although we’re heading into summer and vacations are planned and your chapters may be taking a break, it doesn’t mean you should sit back and do nothing. There’s always an event to plan, recruitment for new members, and of course, attending other chapters events. Chapter Presidents, if you aren’t willing to keep your members engaged or work to keep your chapter active, step aside. Give it over to a member who may have fresher ideas and wants to revitalize your chapter. We all understand that professional and personal responsibilities push Shomrim into the background, so if you’re unable to continue, find new leadership that will make your chapter thrive. Chapter members, please pay your chapter dues and just as important, get involved. Commit as much time as you can spare to your chapter. The future of Shomrim depends on it. And please remember to forward all your chapter events to the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com so they can be included in a future newsletter. But to get that information out quickly, please post it to the National Shomrim Facebook page and it will be included. Remember, if you don’t let us know about your chapter’s events and activities, we can’t let our members know! Get on the social media train and start posting everything about your chapters and your members!
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! We still have a handful of associate members who haven’t paid dues for 2022. We even have a few members that haven’t paid dues for 2021. We don’t want to drop anyone but we’ve sent numerous emails asking for back dues. Some associate members have responded but several have not. Just as importantly, we want all our associate members active in any chapter events and National Shomrim events. Come march with us in the Celebrate Israel Parade, go to one of the chapter’s upcoming picnics or dinner dances, and definitely consider attending the National Shomrim convention in January 2024. As we’ve said many times, you’re more important that chapter members who take their chapters and membership for granted. Our associate members know they’re the link to meeting and establishing connections with other Jews in public service. Dues are a reasonable $18.00 a year, so please send them into our treasurer. Info where to mail your dues is below. And if you’re unsure if you’re up to date with your dues, email the treasurer at email@example.com and Marty will let you know.