Written and Produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary, National Conference of Shomrim Societies
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF
THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SHOMRIM SOCIETIES WISHES ALL OUR CHAPTERS, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY ROSH HASHANA AND AN EASY FAST AND MEANINGFUL YOM KIPPUR.
MAY THE YEAR 5780 BRING US ALL GOOD HEALTH, HAPPINESS, SUCCESS, PROSPERITY AND PEACE.
MAY WE ALL BE INSCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF LIFE.
LESHANA TOVAH TIKVATAYNU
NATIONAL SHOMRIM MEETING
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2019 – 1130
65th STREET & FIFTH AVENUE, NYC
ALL CHAPTER PRESIDENTS, NATIONAL SHOMRIM DELEGATES, MEMBERS AND PAST PRESIDENTS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND
The time to book for the 2020 National Shomrim convention on the cruise ship Celebrity Reflection is now! Sailing from beautiful Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, January 10, 2020, our group will visit St. John’s, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten, and return on Monday, January 20, 2020. After October 1, 2019 the price will go up dramatically. Our group rate is currently approximately $1,500.00 lower than the published cruise fare. Anyone wishing to join us must contact our official National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo as soon as possible to lock in our special price:
- Balcony – $1,739 pp (single supplement $3,478)
- Inside – $1,179 pp (single supplement ($2,358)
Anyone booking a cabin can choose one of these four perks:
- free gratuities
- classic beverage package
- free internet
- $300 shipboard credit
Everyone will receive a $50.00 shipboard credit regardless of when they book a cabin.
A $900 deposit is due at the time of the booking and is fully refundable until October 1, 2019. Taxes are an additional $104.56 per person. Our group will have our own private cocktail party, Sabbath services and our signature lecture series. This convention is important because we will be voting in a new Executive Board. Additionally, National Shomrim has made special arrangements with the Chabad of St. Lucia. They are welcoming our group with a private BBQ at Vigie Beach, which they say is close to the cruise ship terminal. Chabad of St. Lucia is charging $36.00 per person. National Shomrim will sponsor half of that amount, $18.00 per person, and anyone wanting to attend this special beach bbq for our group will be asked to pay the difference of $18.00 per person. We must receive this payment in advance of the cruise, so please RSVP to the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com to secure your spot at the BBQ and send in your check for $18.00 (please make sure it says “Beach BBQ.”) Also, during this critical time for law enforcement across the nation, we are especially interested if any attendees to the convention would like to give an informative class for our group. We already have several great speakers lined up, so if you have an interesting background or story you’d like to share, please contact the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com and arrangements will be made for you to speak. A few more surprises are planned. Please contact Tony directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and to book our 2020 convention.
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Shomrim of Maryland will be holding their annual Officer Ira Weiner Memorial Service on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 1100 at Oheb Shalom Memorial Park. This annual remembrance honors the memory of Baltimore Police Officer Ira Weiner, who was shot in the line of duty on September 19, 1992 and died from his injuries two days later. This brief graveside service is attended by Shomrim of Maryland members and, if he is able, Officer Weiner’s father Murray. The cemetery is located at the intersection of Nicodemus Road and Berryman’s Lane in Reistertown.
Shomrim of Maryland chaplain Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum will be holding inspiring and meaningful High Holiday services at the JUSA Center, 2316 Sugarcane Road, Baltimore, MD. There will be a delicious Erev Rosh HaShana dinner plus services on the first two days of Rosh HaShana. There will also be Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services. There is no charge, however, they would greatly appreciate donations. Advance reservations are suggested. To RSVP for their dinner and for services call (301) 541-8770 or email email@example.com.
The International Synagogue at JFK in Terminal 4 will be having a “Lunch and Learn” on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., led by their chaplain Rabbi Ari Korenblit. The International Synagogue has a long and rich history with Port Authority Shomrim. In the early days of JFK there were three houses of worship that stood outside the old International Arrivals Building – Jewish, Catholic and Protestant. The Synagogue hosted many functions for Port Authority Shomrim, until it was torn down to make room for the new International Arrivals Terminal 4. There are artifacts inside the chapel that show the history of the original building. If you are interested in seeing a piece of Shomrim history and would like to attend the “Lunch and Learn” please contact Rabbi Korenblit at (718) 656-5044 or (917) 309-6318. Parking can be validated by the rabbi for attendees. The International Synagogue is always open for prayers, contemplation and reflection.
Several Nassau Shomrim members will be attending a meeting on September 23, 2019, at the Nassau County Police Headquarters, for a briefing on security for synagogues for the upcoming Jewish holidays. With Jewish institutions under attack, and Jewish communities being targeted, and the attempted attacks that were foiled by great police work, this is super important and a reminder to be alert and keep everyone safe. They also want everyone to save the date for their Chanukah Party on Sunday, December 30, 2019, which will be at Traditions, 302 Central Avenue, Lawrence, NY. The party begins at 7:00 p.m. and will include a delicious three course meal plus wine! They are charging $54 per person, and a plus one is complimentary!
Shomrim of Georgia will be hosting their Guardians of the Torah High Holiday Services, conducted by Rabbi Richard Baroff. They will be holding services in a space generously provided by the Northminster Presbyterian Church, located at 2400 Old Alabama Road, Roswell, Georgia. Rosh HaShana services will be held on Monday, September 30, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and Yom Kippur services will be on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. There is no charge to attend services but donations are always welcome. Please RSVP directly to Rabbi Baroff at either (770) 286-3477 or email RichardBaroff@yahoo.com.
NYPD Shomrim will be having their annual Memorial Service, Scholarship and Awards Breakfast on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at 8:15 a.m. at Congregation Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue and 65th Street, NYC. The cost is $35.00 per person and everyone is asked to please RSVP no later than Wednesday, October 23, 2019 to Breakfast Chairpersons Andy Newman at 88-31 Shore Parkway, Howard Beach, NY 11414, (646) 269-6671 or Murray Ellman at P.O. Box 65, Riverdale Station, Bronx, NY, 10471,
(718) 543-4825 as soon as possible. Checks should be made payable to NYPD Shomrim Society, Inc.
South Florida Shomrim Society is proud to announce that their 2019 Annual Dinner Dance will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Temple Solel of Hollywood, 5100 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida. Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 7:30 p.m., with an open bar, music and dancing. Black tie is optional. They will be honoring several worthy individuals from different departments in South Florida. Advance tickets are $90.00 each, cash or check, and $95.00 if you wish to pay with a credit card. Tickets at the door at $100.00. A table of ten is $875.00. For tickets please contact them at www.southfloridashomrim.com or their president Harvey Meshel at (945) 445-8143 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Randi Meshel at (954) 445-0600 or email email@example.com. South Florida Shomrim is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization so all ticket purchases are tax deductible.
Shomrim of Illinois is hosting an elegant evening reception at the Westin O’Hare Hotel on Thursday, November 14, 2019 where they will be honoring longtime member Elliot Cohen with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Judge Megan Goldish as their Person of the Year; and Val Roytman as their Police Officer of the Year. To purchase tickets please visit their website, www.shomrimillinois.org, or contact Bruce Rottner at Bruce3431@aol.com. Shomrim of Illinois also reports they had one of their best picnics in recent memory. To view pictures go to their website, www.shomrimillinois.org, click on “past Events,’ then on “2019 Picnic.” They will also be having their annual Chanukah party on Sunday, December 29, 2019, at 3:30 p.m., at Nickel City, 555 Waukegan Road, Northbrooke, IL 60062, so save that date too!
FDNY Ner Tamid is planning their Chanukah celebration on December 23, 2019, time and place TBD. Put this date into your calendars!
NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois are taking reservations for their Israel Mission 2020. An eleven day trip beginning April 19 through 29, 2020, they visit all the historical and spiritual locations of our homeland plus excursions to the Dead Sea, Masada and the Golan Heights. For information please contact Elliot Cohen in Chicago at (847) 778-7272; Sam Miller in NY at (347) 723-6709; and Gordon Nash in South Florida (561) 632-7764.
MEMBER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Congratulations to Port Authority Shomrim Executive Vice President and National Shomrim First Vice President Henri Portner on his recent promotion to Sergeant. Henri is currently assigned to LaGuardia Airport.
South Florida Shomrim Society President Harvey Meshel recently sat on a panel with other distinguished experts to contribute his expertise on the topic “Mass Shootings at Places of Worship,” an unfortunate reality in today’s society. We must also thank South Florida Shomrim first lady Randi Heuman Meshel for posting, on their Facebook page, organizations that are helping to coordinate relief efforts for the Bahamas, which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Bonnie Newman Bresalier, the former First Lady of National Shomrim and Nassau Shomrim, has also posted on her Facebook page how to help the animal shelters that were also destroyed. Many of these recommendations, plus other Jewish organizations, have been posted on the National Shomrim Facebook page. We know that our Shomrim family has some of the most generous people on earth, so please contribute what you can to whichever organization you choose.
Refeuah Shelemah to NYPD Shomrim life member Ted Newman. Ted, the father of former first lady of National Shomrim and Nassau Shomrim Bonnie Newman Bresalier, is recovering after taking a tumble while trimming a tree. We are happy to report that Ted is home and doing well.
Welcome to our newest associate members Amy Wisotsky and Zach Seldes!
Amy is a Brooklyn girl and a graduate of the finest criminal justice school in the nation, John Jay College, where she received her B.S. degree in criminal justice. She later went on to earn a Masters Degree in Occupational Education from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. She is a former FBI agent and the current secretary for the National Society of Former FBI Agents. After leaving the Bureau, Amy worked for Louisville Gas and Electric, developing their first Corporate Security Dept. Amy then moved onto Brown Forman Corportation and managed an armed guard force for the Louisville Campus. In 2015 she retired from Brown Forman and accepted a position with Chair of Friends of Animal Metro Services. She is also an active member of the Louisville Genealogical Society, and helped us solve the mystery of Milton Ratner (more on Milton later).
Zach was born and raised in Rochester, NY, where he graduated from college there with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Brought up in a conservative Jewish household, Zach’s father was a member of the NYPD for a short time before transferring over to the Rochester Police Dept. He states, “I was always around the police environment, which I loved.” In January 2017 Zach moved to Richmond, VA to begin the police academy in that city. He graduated in September 2017 and after patrol is now assigned to a precinct-wide crime suppression team, which Zach describes as “great fun.”
In our last edition we introduced you to another new associate member, Eric Wollman. Eric is an NYPD Auxiliary Inspector, currently in his 46th year of service. He worked in the 61st Precinct, the 1st Precinct, and is currently assigned to the Auxiliary Police Section. Eric is retired from the NYC Office of the Comptroller, where he served as an Associate General Counsel and later as a Deputy Member of the IPA, Region 2. He is a member of the Traffic Squad Benevolent Association and the Auxiliary Police Benevolent Association. He graduated from Brooklyn College and received his JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Our official National Shomrim photographer, Sheldon Levi of Shomrim of D.C., has been busy documenting the activities in his new home, The Villages in Florida. He was called upon to document the official opening of Fire Station 47 and their new truck, Engine 47, which was put into service in July. You can see these pictures as well as Sheldon’s other photographs on his wife Deby Levi’s Facebook page.
Associate member L. Frank Hickey has a new book entitled ‘Dancing Man Hits Guadalcanal, or When in Doubt, Rhumba.” It’s a fun, fiction story that you can buy on Amazon.
Mazal tov to Nassau Shomrim members Inspector Alan Hirsch of the Support Division (also a past president of their chapter), Deputy Inspector Arnold Rothenberg of the Police Academy, and Lt. Robert Cohen of the K9 unit on their recent promotions.
Our Mid-Atlantic Region Vice President Merrill Kelem has been performing “Memories of Atlantic City” with various singers and musicians in Atlantic City. His next performance will be on October 25, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at Lou Galdo’s. Call (215) 852-4822 for tickets to dinner and a show, with Merrill as the showstopper! Merrill was also featured on the Ed Hurst Radio Program on August 24th, as he talked about his career on the Atlantic City Police Dept. and his association with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
We welcomed new babies to our Shomrim family!
NYPD Shomrim and National Shomrim Sergeant-at-Arms Ben Gelber and his wife Marcie, granddaughter of NYPD Shomrim life member Archie Sayles, welcomed a son, Martin Shane, Hebrew name Matan Shaul, on August 15, 2019. The bris was attended by the many friends of Ben and Marcie from Shomrim and the NYPD.
Shomrim of Maryland President Jeremy Silbert and his wife Jill welcomed baby boy Jordan Philip Silbert on August 20, 2019. The Silberts celebrated baby Jordan’s first very special Shabbat together in the hospital!
Congratulations to Nassau Shomrim Corresponding Secretary Stu Roberts and his wife who became the parents of Gabriella Skye Roberts.
We had birthdays, too! South Florida Shomrim Society President Harvey Meshel celebrated with his lovely wife Randi and their kids, and also celebrated their wedding anniversary, too. Nassau County Shomrim member Esther Feldman traveled across the pond to celebrate her birthday in London, seeing her favorite musical of all time, On Your Feet. She crossed Abbey Road on her way to Liverpool to see the Birth of the Beatles. Birthday blessings go out to Port Authority Shomrim Trustee Craig Massoth; NYPD Shomrim and National Shomrim past president Stuart Portner; and the many other summer birthdays in our Shomrim family.
Port Authority Shomrim was heartbroken to learn that one of their original members, Mildred Schneider, passed away on July 7, 2019. Mildred was a devoted wife to Jerry and loving mother to her two children, Betty and Steven. She was a longtime Port Authority employee, going back to the days before the original World Trade Center and “Mother PONYA.” Mildred was a wonderful woman with a big smile and a soft voice. Her husband Jerry was a Port Authority police officer, one of the founders of Port Authority Shomrim and a past president of the organization. We are unable to confirm if Jerry predeceased her. We hope he is still with us and will continue to try and locate him. May Mildred rest in peace. See you in the break room!
It is with sadness that Shomrim of Philadelphia announces the passing of their longtime member Paul Naftulin on August 17, 2019. Paul was a life member of Shomrim of Philadelphia and will be remembered as a true professional and a gentleman. May Paul’s memory be for a blessing for his family, friends and the members of Shomrim of Philadelphia.
Condolences to associate member Daniel Scharfman on the passing of his mother, and to Cantor Michael Shochet, the chaplain of Shomrim of D.C., on the passing of his mother Sandy. May their soul have the highest of aliyahs and may they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Israel.
MYSTERY SOLVED! In our last issue we asked for help in finding information on First Lt. Milton Ratner of Troop “C” of the New York State Police. He was listed as being the first Jewish trooper in the New York State Police. First Lt. Ratner was killed in action during WW2 on July 11, 1943, after successfully flying a mission over the Mediterranean to deliver paratroopers to Italy. Well, our newest associate member Amy Wisotsky got the email from one of our members and being a genealogist started doing the research. Thanks to her we have alot more information about Milton Ratner and the Jewish state troopers in New York. She forwarded an email to the President of the New York State Troopers PBA, who responded that in 1917 there were at least five Jewish NYS Troopers:
- George J. Luxenburg
- Louis C. Salz
- Charles S. Salzman
- Julius Weinstein
- Isidor Wexler
As for Milton, Amy was able to locate, thru the Jewish War Veterans, Dan Ratner, Milton’s nephew, who said that his father Louis was the Sullivan County (NY) Sheriff and brother to Milton. Dan shared a letter his father received from a soldier who was in another plane and saw Milton’s plane get shot down. The soldier saw him jump. Milton’s body was never recovered. Dan has Milton’s medals, framed, and couldn’t believe that anyone was interested in his story or was searching for the family. There was a thought that maybe there might be a tombstone for Milton in Old Montefiore Cemetery in New York, but thru Amy’s research there were no U.S. headstone applications for military veterans between 1925 and 1963. The President of the NYS Troopers PBA is a lifelong resident of Liberty, NY, Milton’s hometown, and confirms his family still lives in the area. We will continue to do more research and prehaps make contact with the Ratner family to let them know his brothers and sisters in blue have not forgotten him.
Also, if anyone has any information on these five Jewish state troopers, please contact the Corresponding Secretary and we’ll make sure to profile these pioneers in Jewish law enforcement in future newsletters. They are the reason that Shomrim exists today.
Our Facebook page always features job opportunities in many different cities and for many different positions. These are posted to alert our members who might be looking for a job or who might have family or friends who are looking for a job. Some of the recent posts included positions with the Nassau County (NY), New Jersey Civil Service Commission, Washington State, Parsipanny (NJ) Police, University of Central Florida Police, Virginia State Police, Cities of Orlando, Davie, Miami-Dade, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, and so many other opportunities for our members. There were civilian positions listed, too, such as positions in kosher restaurants, NYC MTA, NYC Dept. of Investigation, and volunteer opportunities as well. Summer jobs and internships were also posted for our Shomrim teens and college students. Delta Airlines and jetBlue are hiring flight attendants, which is a great way to start a career in Aviation. If you speak a second language, including Hebrew, it’s an advantage and can lead you to traveling the world! It’s never too early to start a career, earn money and build a great resume!
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! The Corresponding Secretary was once again contacted by a member of a chapter who said they never got the newsletter forwarded to them. Chapter Presidents or designees, please email the newsletter to all your members! A member may want to attend an event or may plan a vacation where there is a chapter and might want to meet their counterparts. Members who read the newsletter might even become motivated to become active in your organization. Please feel free to post the newsletter on your chapter’s website, or print it out and snail mail it to those who don’t have email. The newsletter is also posted on the National Shomrim Facebook page, which everyone should ask to join (it’s a closed group). It’s also important to make sure your chapter dues of $100.00 are paid. If you have not paid your 2019 dues, please send them in right away so that your chapter and your members are eligible to participate in National Shomrim events and vote on important issues.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! Please keep your membership active! We do not like dropping anyone for nonpayment. And just as importantly, please participate to the extent that you can in any National Shomrim or chapter events. Dues are only $18.00 a year. Our associate members are our lifeline to areas where there is a small or nonexistent Jewish community and where they might be the only Jew in their department. We welcomed seven new associate members this past summer! We want that number to keep growing. Not everyone lives and works in a big metropolitan area with a large Jewish population. If anyone meets a Jewish police officer, fire fighter, court/corrections/parole/probation officer, DAs/ADAs, as well as civilian employees of government agencies, in their day to day responsibilities or on vacation or anywhere they might be, and that person hasn’t heard of our organization, please be sure to tell them about National Shomrim and get their contact information.
Chapter dues and Associate Member dues go to the works of the organizations. National Shomrim as well as many chapters are 501(c)(3) charities, so dues go to charitable events and other important causes. So remember – there’s strength in numbers! Get involved!
Law enforcement has again seen the tragic deaths of several police officers by suicide. We cannot stress enough that if you are feeling hopeless or depressed or think that suicide is the answer to your problems, please, please, please talk to somebody and tell them you are thinking of harming yourself. If you see coworkers whose attitudes and moods have changed, reach out to them and talk to them. Everything will be kept confidential. Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems and permanently hurts those you leave behind. Please check the website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or call them toll free at 1-800-273-8255.
All checks should be make out to the
National Conference of Shomrim Societies and mailed to
Treasurer Marty Turetzky, 264 East Broadway, C1905, New York, NY. 10002.
Don’t let your chapter membership or your associate membership lapse!