Written and Produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary, National Conference of Shomrim Societies
Wishing our Shomrim families and friends a very blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving!
At the last National Shomrim meeting, which was held on Sunday, October 27, 2019, the following candidates were proposed for and have accepted their nomination to the 2020 Executive Board:
- President – Henri Portner
- Executive Vice President – David Rosenzweig
- First Vice President – Spenser Strauss
- Second Vice President – Ben Gelber
- Treasurer – Marty Turetzky
- Recording Secretary – Murray Ellman
- Corresponding Secretary – Betty Astrizky
- Sergeant-at-Arms – Jeff Grossman
- Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms – Dave Appel
- Marshall – Shevy Berkovits
As per the National Shomrim constitution, the slate of candidates must be proposed 60 days prior to the annual convention. As always, nominations for all positions on the Executive Board will be accepted from the floor of the convention. It is important that we have as many chapters as possible represented at the convention. If chapter presidents are unable to attend, please advise who from your chapter will have voting rights. If no one from your chapter is attending the convention, chapter presidents are kindly requested to send their proxy to any current National Shomrim board member, allowing them to vote on your behalf.
Although the date to book the 2020 National Shomrim convention on the cruise ship Celebrity Reflection has passed, we have a few cabins open due to last minute cancellations. Anyone who wants to escape the approaching cold and snow to sail with us to the warm, sunny, blue waters of the Caribbean should book the last available cabins at our price before they have to be returned to Celebrity, where they will be sold at a much higher rate that our group is offered. Please contact our official National Shomrim cruise planner Tony Lostumbo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him directly at (954) 258-0088 as soon as possible to book a cabin and join us at the National Shomrim convention. We will sail from beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Friday, January 10, 2020 to Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten, and return on Monday, January 20, 2020.
Everyone will receive a $50.00 shipboard credit regardless of when they book a cabin.
Our group has several special events that are exclusive to our convention. Celebrity cruise chefs bake beautiful and delicious challahs for our Sabbath services, where we worship with the many other Jewish passengers on board. We are happy to share these challahs and delicious wine for the kiddush with all the attendees. Our signature lecture series once again has several speakers lined up to speak on topics that are important to our group – health, today’s law enforcement issues, Israel, history. At this critical time for law enforcement, we are always looking for additional speakers that would be willing to give a lecture on a topic of their expertise. Please contact our convention co-chairman Marty Turetzky at email@example.com to put yourself into the lecture circuit. Our private parties on board the ship are also designed and catered exclusively for National Shomrim.
We have gotten an overwhelming response to the Beach BBQ that National Shomrim is co-hosting with the Chabad of St. Lucia. As one of the ports our cruise/convention will visit is St. Lucia, everyone who paid and RSVP’s will head over to Vigie Beach for a private beach BBQ when the ship is in port in St. Lucia (it will be listed in the program). Chabad of St. Lucia is charging $36.00 per person; however, National Shomrim will sponsor half of that amount, $18.00 per person, and anyone wanting to attend this special beach bbq is 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. No payments for the BBQ will be accepted at the convention. Send your check for $18.00 (please make sure it says “Beach BBQ”) to National Shomrim Treasurer Marty Turetzky, 1503 S. Ocean Blvd., Unit W-4, Boca Raton, FL 33432.
Save the date for next year’s Celebrate Israel Parade, which is set for Sunday, June 7, 2020. National Shomrim always has a large delegation that marches up Fifth Avenue in New York City in one of the greatest displays of Jewish pride in our nation. Start looking for hotels and airfares now to make your reservations to join us on this great day.
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
The next meeting of the FDNY Ner Tamid Society will take place on Wednesday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Friends of Firefighters, 199 Van Brunt Street, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. Anyone wishing to attend should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. They also want everyone to save the date for their annual Chanukah Celebration, which will be held at FDNY Headquarters, 9 Metrotech Center, 1st floor, Brooklyn, NY on December 23rd. Details will be in the next newsletter.
South Florida Shomrim Society has a few open seats available for their 2019 Annual Dinner Dance, which will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Temple Solel, 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 the South Florida area. 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 email@example.com, or Randi Meshel at (954) 445-0600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. South Florida Shomrim is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization so all ticket purchases are tax deductible.
NYPD Shomrim will be having their 10th Annual Cigar Night on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at Draft Barn, 317 Avenue X, Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are $100.00 per person ($125.00 at the door) and includes premium cigars, unlimited draft beer, cash bar and catered kosher food. You can order tickets online at cigarnight.theticketingco.com, or email their president Spenser Strauss at email@example.com. Payment is requested prior to Thursday, November 7, 2019.
Shomrim of Philadelphia will be having their membership meeting at The Pub on November 14, 2019. The cost is $36.00 per person. Please RSVP to Merrill Kelem at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Shomrim of Illinois has a few seats available for their 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.
More Chanukah celebrations are planned!
- NYPD Shomrim will have their Chanukah Menorah Lighting on Monday, December 23rd, at One Police Plaza, NYC. RSVP to their president, Spenser Strauss, at email@example.com if you plan to attend.
- Nassau Shomrim will have their annual Menorah lighting on Monday, December 23rd, at Nassau County Police Headquarters in Mineola (Long Island), NY. They also invite all to their annual Chanukah party on Monday, December 30, 2019, at Traditions, 302 Central Avenue, Lawrence, NY. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., a delicious three course deli dinner plus wine will be served. The cost is $54.00 per person, and a plus one is complimentary. RSVP to NassauShomrim@gmail.com.
- Thursday, December 26th, is the date for the Port Authority Shomrim Menorah Lighting at the Oculus at the World Trade Center. Details will be included in the next newsletter.
- Shomrim of Illinois will be holding their annual Chanukah party on Sunday, December 29, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. at Nickel City, 555 Waukegan Road, Northbrooke, IL 60062. RSVP to Bruce Rottner at Bruce3431@aol.com to join in the fun.
Save the date for the NYPD Shomrim Annual Installation Dinner on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at Da Mikele Illagio in Queens, NY, when the boards of both National Shomrim and NYPD Shomrim will be sworn in. Details will be in a future newsletter.
FDNY Ner Tamid will be having a Holocaust Memorial Service and dinner on April 21, 2020, at FDNY Headquarters, 9 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY. Save the date for this important and solemn event.
NYPD Shomrim and Shomrim of Illinois report over 25 people have booked for their annual Israel Mission 2020. An eleven day trip beginning April 19 through 29, 2020, they visit the historical and spiritual locations of our ancestral homeland plus excursions to the Dead Sea, Masada and the Golan Heights. There are still spaces available, so if you would like to join them 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.
Shomrim of Maryland has a social media presence on twitter. Their handle is @shomrimmd. Glad to hear that our chapters are getting into cyberspace.
MEMBER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Port Authority Shomrim member Sgt. Barry Daskal was recently featured in the agency’s Portfolio e-newsletter, highlighting his career with the Port Authority Police and his current position as a crew chief at JFK’s Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF). You can read the entire article on the National Shomrim Facebook page.
Retired NYPD Shomrim Society member Paul Sonn comes from a family that has a long history with the NYPD and Shomrim. Paul’s uncle Edward Sonn was appointed to the NYPD in 1930 and assigned to the 69th Precinct. In 1935 he was sent to work for special prosecutor and U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey in a special squad of police officers hand picked by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Dewey was determined to take down mafia kingpin Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Edward, disguised as a homeless person, staked out a brothel for two weeks, befriended some of the working girls and was able to arrest Luciano on various charges, including racketeering and prostitution, allowing Dewey to prosecute and eventually sent Luciano to prison for a 30 year sentence. Luciano had his sentence reduced for his service during World War 2 and was eventually deported back to his native Italy. Dewey went on to become the Governor of New York. Ed Sonn retired in 1950 from the NYC Dept. of Corrections, where he was also influential in forming the Gibborim Society, what we know today as the Macabee Society. He went to California, where died at the age of 90, having had a career worthy of a Hollywood movie. Paul’s uncles Ed Sonn and Sam Sonn, also a patrolman in the 75th Precinct, were early members of Shomrim. Paul is exceptionally proud of his family’s law enforcement service, including his brother, who is a retired special agent; his nephew Michael, who currently works with Homeland Security; and his niece Mallory, who works for ATF. Paul is also super excited to have become a great grandfather to Preston Elijah this past June.
Our friend Kasia Lewandowski, President of the Port Authority Police Polish Association, invites all to the first annual Polish night on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at Johnny’s Cafe, 60-39 Fresh Pond Road, Maspeth, NY 11378. Tickets are $60.00 per person and includes music, dancing, Polish food and beer. Contact Kasia at (347) 724-4077 for a fun evening of authentic Polish culture.
Shomrim of Illinois member Joanna Benjamin recently had a letter in a Torah dedicated to her by the Chabad of Lakeview. The completion of a Torah is a year long project and the rabbi made sure Joanna received her very own blessing!
We are always heartbroken to report sad lifecycles:
- Shomrim of Philadelphia mourns the passing of Frances L. Nodiff, the mother of staff Inspector Lawrence Nodiff, a past president of their organization. Mrs. Nodiff was laid to rest at Shalom Memorial Cemetery in Huntington Valley, PA.
- homrim of Illinois reports the passing of long time member, retired Cook County Deputy Sheriff Harold Perlstein.
- Associate Member Jed Dolnick reports the peaceful passing of his mother-in-law Edna Schall, in West Bend, Wisconsin on Thursday, October 24, 2019
- Shari Lewis, the wife of past South Florida Shomrim President Dave Lewis, was saddened to report the passing of her beloved mother Jill Portnoy. Jill was laid to rest at Mount Golda Cemetery in Huntington Station, NY, and the family observed shiva at Jill’s home in Ryebooke, NY.
May our Shomrim families know no more sorrows, and may they all be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Israel.
Shomrim members in NYC! It is important that you all vote NO to Question 2 on the ballot this coming election day! It concerns the Civilian Complaint Review Board. They are looking to expand their powers over the NYPD and the officers who are charged with alleged crimes against citizens while doing their jobs under the incredible anti-police bias they are experiencing, including from the current administration and the terrible disrespect they have been shown recently. Question 2 is on the back of the ballot, so please remember to turn it over and vote NO!
We continually post job opportunities on our Facebook page with law enforcement agencies across the country. There have been openings in so many departments on the Federal, state and local levels that we hope our members, their families and friends have been able to find the perfect job to start a career. Do you want to work in sunny Florida? There were recruitments in Broward County, Orange County, Boca Raton and Clermont. Do you want to be a star? The LAPD and the City of Redwood had a hiring event. Maybe being a Fed is a goal? The FBI and ATF were recruiting. The Pennsylvania State Police were looking for trooper candidates. There were openings throughout New York with the MTA, NYC Dept. of Probation, and at the Federal Reserve Bank in NYC. Civilian opportunities were posted, too, with entry level positions with The Port Authority of NY & NJ, Resorts World Casino, and the Carpenters Union was accepting applications for apprentice tradespeople. Please feel free to share these job opportunities with your family and friends. And if you or anyone you recommended for one of these opportunities gets a job thru National Shomrim, we want to hear about it!
CHAPTER PRESIDENTS! Please forward the newsletter to your active and retired membership, as well as to prospective members. The newsletter is also posted on the National Shomrim Facebook page, which everyone should ask to join (it’s a closed group), and on our website, www.nationalshomrim.org. Also, if you are planning any Chanukah events, please let the Corresponding Secretary know so it can be placed in the next issue of the newsletter, which will go out in December. If you have any other events planned for 2020, such as dinners, breakfasts, cigar nights, picnics, charity drives or group outings, such as baseball or football games, please send them in to be included in future newsletters. There are times when a newsletter is sent out and then a chapter sends in an event that could have been featured in that newsletter. So please send in items that are time sensitive, even if all the details aren’t set. We can always have members who are interested in attending contact the chapter directly. Don’t forget about recruitment for your chapters. There are many events that departments hold throughout the year, such as Coffee With a Cop, Nights out with the local Police, Meet the Chief, and fundraisers that are held throughout the year. These are great opportunities to meet Jewish members of those departments who may not know about your chapter or Shomrim and who have been looking for a way to meet Jewish police officers and firefighters. Don’t forget to visit cadets in training and sign them up!
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 have recently heard from the spiritual leader of a department in the south who will look for any Jewish LEOs in that small department. Not everyone lives and works in a big metropolitan area with a large Jewish population. If anyone meets a Jewish police officer, fire fighter, EMT, 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. Oftentimes we hear, where do my dues go? Well, the dues of National Shomrim go to publications, fees, member giveaways, bill payments, and other costs that come up from time to time. No board member benefits financially from members and chapter dues. The treasurer presents his report at each Shomrim meeting, giving a detailed description of our budget. So if any prospective or lapsed member asks, why should I pay my Shomrim dues, remind them that it keeps our historically important chapters and organization functioning in an increasingly tense and combative anti police and anti Jewish environment.