Written and Produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary, National Conference of Shomrim Societies
The Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2019, was an exhilarating experience! In near perfect weather, National Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz led our delegation up Fifth Avenue, and he was accompanied by our special guests, our newest associate member Commander Sheila Lambie and her colleague, Senior Commander Shari Falkowski, both with the St. Paul Police Dept. Our delegation included members from NYPD Shomrim, Port Authority Shomrim, Shomrim of Illinois, FDNY Ner Tamid, Nassau Shomrim, Shomrim Society of the NYS Court Officers, Empire State Shomrim. Many associate members and board members came to march from near and far! Jeff Grossman, our Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms and native Brooklyn boy, came in from San Antonio, and David Appel, our Marshall, flew in that very morning from Chicago. Shomrim members and their families mingled at the preparade collation, enjoying the coffee, tea and delicious bagels, cakes and sweets. Special thanks to our Shomrim wives, Rebecca Turetzky and Marcy Gelber, who cut all the bagels and set up the delicious spread. There was also a short National Shomrim meeting, with representatives of our chapters And since it’s never too late to make plans, next year’s parade date has been set for Sunday, May 31, 2020! Make your hotel reservations now so you can join us for one of the best events that National Shomrim is proud to be an active participant!
Although we’re in the dog days of summer, plans are continuing for the 2020 National Shomrim convention 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. 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 the special price for our group:
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. We are encouraging any attendees to the convention to give a informative and interesting class for our group. If you’re an expert in your field or have an interesting background or story you’d like to share, please contact the Corresponding Secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com and she’ll make the arrangements for you to speak. A few more surprises are planned. Please contact Tony directly at firstname.lastname@example.org additional information and to book our 2020 convention.
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
On Monday, July 15, 2019, a bittersweet ceremony was held by the NYPD as they co-named the corner of West 12th Street and Surf Avenue in Brooklyn in honor of fallen Police Officer Leon Fox. Patrolman Fox, a member of NYPD Shomrim, was assigned to Brooklyn’s 60th Precinct in 1941. He was shot and killed while escorting the manager of the Loew’s Coney Island Movie Theatre to the bank with the daily receipts. As they approached the bank entrance they were accosted by three men, one of whom grabbed the suitcase full of money from the manager. All three fled on foot. Patrolman Fox pursued the suspect but was shot. He managed to empty his gun at the suspects before they fled, striking all three. The suspects were later apprehended and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The verdict was then overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Two suspects were freed and the third was retried and acquitted of all charges. Patrolman Fox had served with the NYPD for ten years and was survived by his wife and son. He is buried in the NYPD Shomrim Field in Old Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens, NY. The Fox family was joined by local NYC Councilman Chaim Deutsch and NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill as they honored the life and legacy of this brave fallen officer.
NYPD Shomrim had an amazing Father’s Day picnic! Attendees enjoyed bbq – a Father’s Day tradition – and had fun with NYPD Special Ops, K9, Aviation, Mounted, Community Affairs. Their outing to see the Brooklyn Cyclones play the Staten Island Yankees on June 23, 2019 was also a fun afternoon. The tickets included a free hot dog and soda and a Mensch on a Bench giveaway. This annual event is always a sell out, and this year almost 60 members and their families went to the world famous Coney Island for the game. Strolling that Boardwalk is an adventure in New York history!
Shomrim of Maryland recently celebrated the 40th birthday of their chaplain, Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum. Rabbi Tenenbaum does so much for Shomrim of Maryland and supports the organization as well as the many public safety officers across the State of Maryland and the many members of our military. Wishing Rabbi Tenenbaum a very happy birthday, and til 120!
South Florida Shomrim will be having a meeting on Sunday, July 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the Broward Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Building, 2601 West Broward Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL. They will be discussing their upcoming dinner dance, which will take place on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at a new venue – Temple Solel of Hollywood, 5100 Sheridan Street, Hollywood, Florida 33021. Once details are finalized they will be sent out. Please let their president know if you plan on attending their meeting. Contact Harvey Meshel at email@example.com.
Shomrim of Illinois sure has alot of great events going on! Members Justin and Amy Homer, Sherwin Gerber and Scott Rabin have been working hard on the annual picnic, which will be held on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Camp Apachi in Northbrook. On Monday, August 26, 2019, get ready to play at their annual golf outing at the Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove. On Thursday, November 14, 2019, an elegant evening reception is planned at the Westin O’Hare Hotel. 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. They are also planning their annual Chanukah party, date TBD. All monies raised at these events goes to their Endowment Fund, which awards educational grants to the children and grandchildren of Shomrim of Illinois members. They are a 501 (c)(3) charity. Contact Bruce Rottner at Bruce3431@aol.com for information or to attend any of these events.
The NYPD Shomrim Society will be having their annual Memorial Service and Scholarship Awards Breakfast on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. at Congregation Emanuel, Fifth Avenue and 65th Street, NYC. Please RSVP to Breakfast Chairpersons Marty Turetzky at firstname.lastname@example.org or Murray Ellman at email@example.com.
Save these dates!
- Monday, December 23, 2019 – FDNY Ner Tamid Chanukah Celebration
- Sunday, December 30, 2019 – Nassau Shomrim (Long Island, NY) Chanukah Party
MEMBER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Welcome to our newest associate members!
- Harry Cooperman
- Frank Hickey
- Brad Schusterman
- Daniel Scharfman
- Robert Wengrow
- Eric Wollman
Past National Shomrim President and Past Nassau Shomrim President Scott Bresalier recently received a commendation from the Palm Beach School District Police for helping a person in distress at a recent event in Lake Worth, Florida. They are lucky to have you on the job, Scott!
Congratulations to Shomrim of Iliinois members Sgt. Emily Field and Lt. Jeff Gordon on their recent promotions. We wish Amy Homer lots of luck in her new position as a police officer of the Deerfield (Illinois) PD. Amy is a former police officer from the Evanston PD. Amy, all the best and stay safe! Mazal tov to Board member Lt. Val Roytman who recently retired from the Chicago Police Dept. after 29 years of service. Val, the best is yet to come!
Shomrim of Maryland is very proud to report that Melissa R. Hyatt has been appointed the Chief of the Baltimore County Police. Chief Hyatt was sworn in on June 17, 2019 and is the first woman and the first Jew to hold this position. Mazal tov Chief Hyatt, a great Star of David!
Prayers continue to be offered up for the complete recovery of a young Jewish San Francisco Police Officer, Elia Lewin-Tankel, who was on bicycle patrol when he was struck by a fleeing motorist in October 2017, causing a head injury so severe that responding paramedics thought he was dead. Even surgeons held out little hope that he would fully recover. But in the year and a half since his injury, this young officer has fought hard to get better. Although he still has limited mobility, he can recognize his wife and hold his one year old son, a far cry from the day that his department thought they would have to plan a funeral. The career criminal who is accused of plowing into him sits in a San Francisco jail, held without bail, while his trial goes on. We wish Officer Lewin-Tankel a quick, complete and total refeuah shelemah.
It is with sadness that Shomrim of Philadelphia announces the passing of their longtime member Bernard Labov on June 8, 2019. Bud, as he was known to his family and friends, was a member of the greatest generation. At age 17 he convinced his father to allow him to join the Navy, where he served aboard the USS Winslow. When he was assigned stateside he even assisted in the capture of a German submarine in 1945. After receiving the World War 2 Medal of Victory and an honorable discharge, Bud joined the Philadelphia Police Dept, following in the footsteps of his father Morris. After 12 years of service he was injured in an explosion and had to retire. Nevertheless Bud remained involved with Shomrim of Philadelphia, the American Legion and the Fraternal Order of Police, where he was a loyal member for 50 years. May Bud’s memory be for a blessing for his family, friends and the members of Shomrim of Philadelphia.
CAN YOU HELP SOLVE A MYSTERY? First Lt. Milton Ratner, of Troop “C” of the New York State Police, was killed in action during WW2 on July 11, 1943 after successfully flying a mission over the Mediterranean to deliver paratroopers to Sicily. For his actions First Lt. Ratner was awarded the Army Air Medal and a Purple Heart. Milton is listed as being the first Jewish trooper in the New York State Police. He joined Troop “C” in 1940 and was granted leave after enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The New York State Police Barracks in Ferndale, NY was renamed the Lt. Milton Ratner Post after his death. Originally from Brooklyn, he worked on his family farm in Ferndale, at the Liberty Candy Factory, and as a bookkeeper in the Sullivan County (NY) Health Services in Monticello. We are looking for anyone who can give us any information of Milton Ratner’s service with the NY State Police, and maybe find his family, who are reported to still live in and around the Liberty, NY area, so they can be notified that the service of their Jewish ancestor will always be remembered by his colleagues in law enforcement. If anyone has any leads, please email the corresponding secretary at BAstrizky@aol.com.
Our Facebook page recently featured 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 engineer trainee position with the New Jersey Dept. of Transportation, assorted positions with the Broward County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, union positions for apprentice tradesmen with the NYC District Council of Carpenters, careers with the City of New York, the Lauderhill (Florida) Police Dept., and many many more. Summer jobs and internships were also posted for our Shomrim teens and young adults. It’s never too early to start a career and earn money.
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! Are you forwarding the National Shomrim newsletter to your members? It’s in your chapter’s best interest to send all your members the newsletter. 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 people 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. 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 contact information. Our Corresponding Secretary will be in touch with them and introduce our terrific group!
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!
The recent deaths of several police officers, by their own hands, has left their families heartbroken and their colleagues stunned, saddened and confused. While no one can answer the question why these individuals chose to end their lives, their deaths have prompted departments to offer counseling to any officer who feels the need to talk about any issues going on in their lives. They are also encouraging officers to reach out to their coworkers and take an extra minute to ask if they’re ok. Please, if anyone is feeling sad, depressed or hopeless, or believe that a coworker’s personality, mood or attitude has shifted to the point where it might be interfering with their job or personal responsibilities, ask for help. Ask your family, your friend, a trusted colleague or a spiritual advisor. Police departments across the country, including the NYPD, have formed special units to assist officers who are seeking counseling. There is absolutely no shame in saying the words “I need help.” There is no stigma attached to any emotional conditions anymore. It is all about being physically and mentally healthy. We don’t ever want to bury another coworker because they couldn’t face life anymore.
On a personal note, yours truly will be taking a break for the summer. The next newsletter should be sent out prior to the Jewish holidays. So if you have events coming up through the end of this year, including the high holy days, Chanukah, chapter meetings, luncheons, reunions and dinners, please email them as soon as all the details are set and they will be published in the next edition of the newsletter.