Written and Produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary, National Conference of Shomrim Societies
Wow! The general consensus of our recent convention from the attendees was wow! What a great time on board the Celebrity Silhouette! Our ports of call were spectacular – The Cayman Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao were stunning. Many members of our group took the Jewish Heritage tour in Curacao, where we learned about the history of the Jewish communities on these Dutch Islands. We were privileged to see the beautiful historic synagogue, Congregation Mikve Israel-Emanuel in Curacao, the oldest synagogue in the Americas in continuous use, with its sand floor and original crystal chandeliers and imported wood from the Netherlands. It was a meaningful experience and opened up a whole new chapter about the history of our people. The group also visited the Chabad of Curacao and met the young and very enthusiastic rabbi leading the current Jewish community in a new, modern building.
Our lectures were so informative and so well received! Starting with Arthur Gravitz, a member of Shomrim of Philadelphia and former IRS agent, this 97 year old spunky gentleman gave a presentation straight out of mob history. Our resident expert on terrorism, Mordy Dzikansky, once again told us the straight truth about the situation in Israel. Our official National Shomrim photographer, Sheldon Levi, of Shomrim of D.C., took us down the long path he walked in becoming a police officer; and our friend Gosia Lewandowska, a certified health and fitness coach, talked about the benefits of swimming – how appropriate on a cruise ship and in the beautiful blue beaches of the Caribbean. Our lineup of speakers was, once again, a great mix of current events, history and health. Our Sabbath services were also a big hit, not only with our group but with the many Jewish passengers who were on the cruise independently and who were very pleasantly surprised with the observance of our traditions. Led by NYPD Shomrim Financial Secretary/National Shomrim Recording Secretary Murray Ellman and National Shomrim Corresponding Secretary/Port Authority Shomrim First Vice President Betty Astrizky, the ship provided us with fresh baked, delicious challah, kosher wine and grape juice and our Executive Vice President, Dave Rosenzweig, a Vietnam War veteran, made the blessing over the challah. Dave’s wife, Jan, also a Vietnam War veteran, led the worshipers in singing God Bless America. Past NYPD Shomrim President Bernie Kaplan, a Gulf War veteran, made kiddush over the wine. It was an honor to have them participate. We were also treated to a very special, private cocktail party on the helipad of the Celebrity Silhouette, where we were treated to a glorious sailaway sunset.
Amazingly, we even met a Jewish police officer who was on the cruise with another group and who immediately joined National Shomrim as an associate member! Thanks to our friend Barbara Greenstein, we welcomed Sheila Lambie, a commander in the St. Paul, Minnesota, Police Dept., to our group and she’s planning on attending future events! Sheila is the lone Jew in her department and a female in an executive position. Just goes to show that members find us and we find members in all locations and everywhere we go. Can’t wait to have Sheila become an active member! We also ran into Alan Goodman, a past president of NYPD Shomrim, and his wife, and George Dugid, a member of Nassau Shomrim, with his wife Diane They had booked the cruise outside of our group but once they saw all our activities and our special benefits they are thinking about booking exclusively with us next year! We want as many Shomrim members from all our chapters to join us at next year’s convention!
We also conducted our main National Shomrim business at the convention and elected the 2019 Executive Board. We are pleased to announce that new members that are active in their local chapters and who expressed an interest in joining the National Shomrim Board were nominated from the floor of the convention and were unanimously voted in. The 2019 National Shomrim Executive Board is as follows:
President Scot Pomerantz
Executive Vice President David Rosenzweig
First Vice President Henri Portner
Second Vice President Spencer Strauss
Treasurer Marty Turetzky
Recording Secretary Murray Ellman
Corresponding Secretary Betty Astrizky
Sergeant-at-Arms Ben Gelber
Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Jeff Grossman
Marshall David Appel
The 2020 National Shomrim convention has been set! At our meetings we once again discussed the best option for our group. We encountered the same situation for next year’s cruise that we came upon for this past cruise – many of the ships either arrived or departed on a Saturday. With very few choices, our official National Shomrim cruise planner, Tony Lostumbo, presented the group with three possible cruises. After a spirited discussion it was decided that next year’s convention will be held on the cruise ship Celebrity Reflection, which will sail from Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, January 10, 2020, to St. John’s, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten, and return on Monday, January 20, 2020. With four sea days and 5 ports of call, this will be an ambitious and exciting convention, and we will visit locations in the Southern Caribbean we have never been. Over 40 cabins are already booked, so anyone wishing to join us must contact Tony as soon as possible to lock in the special price for our group:
Balcony – $1,739 pp (single supplement $3,478)
Inside – $1,179 pp (single supplement ($2,358)
Until March 5, 2019, anyone booking a cabin can choose two of four perks:
- free gratuities
- classic beverage package
- free internet
- $300 shipboard credit
After March 5th only one perk will be offered to new bookings. 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 also have our own private cocktail party, the Sabbath services and our own signature lecture series. Please contact Tony directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and to book for our 2020 convention.
Our next National Shomrim event will be the Celebrate Israel Parade, which will take place on Sunday, June 2, 2019, in New York City. Our delegation marches up Fifth Avenue in New York City to the cheers of thousands of spectators. It is a thrilling experience and everyone should make plans to attend. There will be a pre parade collation beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Congregation Emanuel, Fifth Avenue and 65th Street, and a short National Shomrim meeting right before we leave to line up. Family and friends are welcome to attend and march with us. We have police vehicles, fire trucks, and our National Shomrim chapters proudly flying their banners, and it is an event not to be missed!
Since it’s never too early to start planning, the following chapters are planning their Chanukah events:
- Monday, December 23, 2019 – FDNY Ner Tamid Society
- Friday, December 27, 2019 – Port Authority Shomrim Society
Save these dates!
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Shomrim of Maryland invites all active and retired law enforcement and military members to attend their Purim Party and Megillah Reading on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. at the JUSA Center, 2316 Sugarcone Road, Baltimore, MD. There will be delicious hamantashen and fun activities to celebrate this happy holiday. Please RSVP to Shomrim of Maryland President Jeremy Silbert at email@example.com or their chaplain, Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum, at rabbict@jewishUSAMD.org.
The NYPD Shomrim Society will be holding their annual Installation Dinner Dance on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at Da Mikele Illagio, 79-17 Albion Avenue (off Queens Blvd.), Queens, NY. The cocktail hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is an elegant evening of fine food and fine company. The incoming boards of both National Shomrim and NYPD Shomrim will be sworn in during the dinner dance. Tickets are $125.00 per person and you can make a reservation by contacting dinner chairpersons Marty Turetzky at (917) 774-7809, Murray Ellman at (718) 543-4825, or Spencer Strauss at (212) 203-9400.
NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois report there are a few spaces left for their annual trip to Israel. The dates are April 1 to 11, 2019. For details and prices please contact Elliot Cohen at (847) 778-7272, Dam Miller at (347) 723-6708, or Joe Cohen at (914) 316-6279.
South Florida Shomrim invites all to their annual “Machin a Piknik” on Sunday, April 14, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at C.B. Smith Park, Flamingo Road and Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, Florida. This free picnic, generously catered by Weberman’s Traditional Foods, features hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, sides, and beverages. There are activities for the kids, and a raffle and auction for the grown ups, so bring money. Admission to C.B. Smith Park is $1.50 per person (ages 6 and up), $8.00 maximum charge per car or van (9 occupants or fewer). Many Shomrim members from different chapters and their families and friends make their way to the park and bbq for a fun afternoon. Please RSVP no later than April 9, 2019, to South Florida Shomrim President Harvey Meshel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (954) 445-8143, or you can also contact Randi Meshel at email@example.com or Paul Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you come hungry!
Michael Picard, President of the Macabee Society (NYC Dept. of Corrections) invites all to attend the annual Mickey Marcus Memorial Service on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the West Point Military Academy in New York. If requested, they will provide transportation. They will be serving light refreshments beginning at 10:00 a.m. Please contact his directly at Michael.Picard@doc.nyc.gov for information on this tribute to a hero.
National Police Memorial Week begins May 6, 2019, and Shomrim of D.C. is in the midst of planning the Annual Kaddish service. Once all the details are finalized they will be published in a future newsletter. Make plans to attend this moving event and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
- Nassau Shomrim has a whole lineup of events coming up!
- General Membership Meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
- Their Annual Passover Food Drive will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Nassau Provisions Kosher Foods, 200 Albany Avenue, Freeport, NY.
- On Sunday, May 19, 2019, they will be having their Annual Breakfast at the Sephardic Temple, 775 Branch Blvd., Cedarhurst, NY. 11516. Tickets are $50.00 per person. The prayer service begins at 8:15 a.m. and the program starts right after, at 9:00 a.m. You can show your support for their organization by purchasing a journal ad, congratulating their honorees or marketing your business.
- Nassau Shomrim will be participating in a Fraternal Unity Atlantic City Day Trip on Thursday, June 13, 2019. The cost is $25.00 per person and includes the round trip bus ride, a $25.00 paying chip and refreshments. A potluck breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. and the bus will leave promptly at 9:30 a.m. from the Nassau County Police HQ Rear S/W Lot off Golf Drive Lane.
To RSVP to any of these great events please contact them directly at email@example.com.
MEMBER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Congratulations to NYPD Shomrim Detective Spencer Strauss as he assumes the leadership of their organization.
NYPD Shomrim member, retired First Grade Detective Irwin Silverman, was prominently featured in a series hosted by reporter Piers Morgan entitled “Serial Killer.” Irwin recounted how he helped capture a notorious serial killer in the Bronx in 1992, with insights he revealed for the first time ever to the British journalist. It aired on the Oxygen cable channel and you can google it to watch a stone cold psychopath behind bars.
As mentioned earlier, we’re thrilled to welcome Sheila Lambie to our organization as our newest associate member. Sheila is originally from Ohio and grew up in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She attended Winona State University in Minnesota, where she earned her degree in Criminal Justice and began her career path as a police officer in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Dept. She later moved onto the St. Paul Police Dept., where she is completing 27 years of service and where she is still the only Jewish police officer on a force of 630 sworn members. While working full time as a police officer, Sheila went back to school and earned a Masters Degree in Education, Police Leadership and Administration from the University of St. Thomas. Moving thru the St. Paul Police Dept. as a Patrol Officer for 12 years, a member of the Gang and Gun Unit for one year, the Narcotics Unit, and Patrol Sergeant on midnights, she also worked as a Homicide Detective and was a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team before being promoted to Commander. The Minnesota Association of Women Police named her the Minnesota Female Police Officer of the Year in 2011. Sheila is also a top fundraiser for the MS Society of Minnesota, doing a great mitzvah by raising over $100,000 to help eradicate this dreaded disease, which personally affects her beloved father. “I walk every year because he can’t” is her motivation. Sheila also taught Law Enforcement classes at Metro State University for 13 years and loves her Minnesota Wild Hockey Team, where she did a commercial for them that you can see on our Facebook page. Thank goodness she also loves to travel, because if she wasn’t on the cruise with her mom and a group of police officers, friends and family, we would have never met her! We gave her a warm Shomrim welcome at our private cocktail party and know that she’ll be a great addition to National Shomrim!
- We send condolences to the following chapters and members:
- Shomrim of Philadelphia member Doug Green on the passing of his father, David.
- NYPD Shomrim reports the passing of two of its life members – Harry Hauptman and Paul Stone. Harry Hauptman was a patrolman in the 34th Precinct and retired August 1963 and subsequently moved to Florida, where he was a member of First Shomrim of Florida. Paul Stone, who is a cousin of National Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz, passed away after a short battle with cancer and was laid to rest in New Montefiore Cemetery on Long Island, NY. Paul retired from the NYPD in 1984 with the rank of Patrolman and was assigned to the Firearms and Tactics Section. He was also a Vietnam War veteran, having served on the USS Constellation.
- Shomrim of Illinois is sad to announce the passing of past president Howard Patinkin. Howard served as their organization’s president from 1983 to 1984. He joined the Chicago Police Dept. in 1961 and retired in 1995 as an Assistant Deputy Superintendent. Also an attorney, Howard practiced law and was a hearing officer for the City of Chicago. Howard was laid to rest at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
May the memories of Howard Patinkin, David Green, Harry Hauptman and Paul Stone be a blessing to their families and friends, and may they rest in eternal peace.
The following job opportunities were recently posted on our Facebook page:
- The Davie (Florida) Police Dept. is hiring. Please visit their website, www.DaviePDJobs.com, for information.
- Summer job opportunities for college students with United Airlines. Call (973) 273-6064 if you know college students looking for a fun and different experience.
- New Jersey Turnpike Authority is looking to hire toll collectors. Please visit their website, NJTA.com, for this and other job opportunities with this agency.
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is hiring Temporary Passenger Information Agents. Check our their website, jointheportauthority.com, for this and other open positions
- The Pembroke Pines (Florida) Police Dept. is hiring certified and non certified police officers and other sworn and civilian positions. Go to www.ppines.com/jobs for this and other employment opportunities.
- The Suffolk County (NY) Police Dept. will be holding an exam for police officers on June 15, 2019. The last day to file for the exam is April 3, 2019. Please check their website, suffolk pd.org, for information on how to apply as well as salary and benefits.
- The Florida Highway Patrol is hiring state troopers and dispatchers. Please check their website, www.beatrooper.com, for details on how to apply
- The City of Yonkers (NY) is searching for a fire commissioner. They are also holding an open recruitment for fire fighters. Details for both of these openings, as well as other opportunities in that area, are available on their website, YonkersNY.Gov.
- Seminole County (Florida) is also searching for firefighters, EMTs/Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers. Details are available on their website, seminolecountyfl.gov.
- The City of Fairfax, Virginia has an open recruitment for police officers. Please check their website, fairfaxva.gov, for information.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! Please remember to forward the National Shomrim newsletter to your members. Oftentimes we run into a member of a Shomrim chapter who is unaware of either National Shomrim or chapter activities and who never received the newsletter. It’s in your chapter’s best interest to send all your members the newsletter, because you never know who will be motivated to become active in your organization. It’s also important to make sure your chapter dues of $100.00 are paid. If you have not paid your 2018 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! If you have not paid your 2018 dues of $18.00, please send them in. We hate to drop members who let their associate membership lapse. 2019 dues are also coming up for renewal, so please send those in as well.
Finally, we occasionally meet the random person who is not a member of a chapter or of National Shomrim that asks, “what’s in it for me?” Our answer is simple. It’s not about you. It’s about being part of an organization whose members know exactly what your experiences, your successes, and your struggles have been throughout your career, as a Jew and as a public servant. 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! And please, when you meet a Jewish police officer, fire fighter, or any Jewish member in public service that never heard of Shomrim, get their contact information so we can reach out and welcome them to our great organization!