Written and Produced by Betty Astrizky, Corresponding Secretary, National Conference of Shomrim Societies
Wishing our Shomrim families and friends a very happy Chanukah!
Enjoy your eight crazy nights!
Our National Shomrim convention is less than one month away and while we will be enjoying warm sunny days on the Celebrity Reflection cruise, we still have important business to conduct. As described in the last newsletter, we will be electing a new Executive Board for 2020. These are the candidates nominated for the following positions:
- 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 – David Appel
- Marshall – Shevy Berkovits
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. Chapter Presidents! If you are unable to attend, please advise who from your chapter will have voting rights. If no one from your chapter is attending the convention, you are kindly requested to send your proxy to any current National Shomrim member or any member attending the convention, allowing them to vote on your behalf.
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 ready to share their knowledge on topics that are important to our group – health, today’s law enforcement issues, Israel, history. Please contact our convention co-chairman Marty Turetzky at email@example.com if you have an interesting topic to share and he will put you into the lecture circuit. Our private parties on board the ship are also designed and catered exclusively for National Shomrim. Another surprise is planned for our group on board the Celebrity Reflection. Attendees – once you’ve boarded the ship, please head to Deck 4, Conference Room B to check in, where you’ll be greeted by the President and the Executive Board of National Shomrim and the convention chairmen. You’ll receive your programs and your gift from National Shomrim. It’s going to be a great convention!
We have gotten an overwhelming response to the Beach BBQ that National Shomrim will be 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’d will head over to Vigie Beach for a private beach bbq when the ship is is port in St. Lucia on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. The bbq will begin at 12 noon and will end no later than 3 p.m. Vigie Beach is a short walk from the port, and cabs are also available. Chabad of St. Lucia is charging $36.00 per person; however, National Shomrim will sponsor half that amount, $18.00 per person, and anyone wanting to attend this special event for our group is asked to pay the difference of $18.00. We must receive this payment in advance of the cruise, so please RSVP to the Corresponding Secretary no later than January 2, 2020. No payments for the bbq will be accepted at the convention. Send your check ASAP for $18.00, made payable to National Shomrim (please make sure it says “Beach BBQ”) to Marty Turetzky, 1503 S. Ocean Blvd., Unit W-4, Boca Raton, FL 33432.
National Police Memorial Week will be held the week of May 11, 2020, and Shomrim of D.C. will, as always, take the lead in planning events for National Shomrim, including the annual Kaddish service. Once details are set they will be sent out.
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 airfare now to make your reservations to join us on this great day.
CHAPTER NEWS AND INFORMATION
National Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz, along with past National Shomrim and past NYPD Shomrim President Larry Wein, recently traveled to the Shomrim of Illinois Dinner where longtime member Elliot Cohen was honored. Scot and Larry were welcomed by their President, Tamara Margolis. National Shomrim President and past Shomrim of Illinois President Allison Schloss, was there, too. To see pictures of this elegant event please visit www.shomrimillinois.org.
There are so many Chanukah celebrations planned by our chapters that you can stuff yourselves with donuts and latkes all week!
- the Maccabee Society and the NYC Dept. of Corrections invite all to the Annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, December 17, at 5 p.m. at the Perry Bldg. To attend please RSVP to Maccabee Society President Michael Picard at (516) 668-8188 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- the NYPD Shomrim Society 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.
- FDNY Ner Tamid Society will have two celebrations of Chanukah! Please join them on Sunday, December 22nd, at 211/119, 26 Hopper Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., where they will be spreading the message of fire protection that sacred spaces should be safe to the community. On Monday, December 23rd, in the Auditorium of 9 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY, latkes and donuts will be served and there will be music and games, including the all time favorite dreidel. The party begins at 4:30 p.m. and everyone is asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the FDNY Humble Heroes. These toys will be delivered to children in hospitals and burn centers. Please RSVP to Diversity.Inclusion@FDNY.NY.GOV.
- Nassau Shomrim will have their Annual Menorah Lighting on Monday, December 23rd, at Nassau County Police Headquarters in Mineola (Long Island), NY. Everyone is also invited to the annual Chanukah party on Monday, December 30th, at Traditions, 302 Central Avenue, Lawrence, NY. Beginning at 7 p.m., a delicious three course deli dinner plus wine will be served. The cost is $54 per person and a plus one is complimentary. RSVP to NassauShomrim@gmail.com.
- Thursday, December 26th, is the date for the Port Authority Shomrim Society Menorah Lighting at the WTC Oculus. Due to security restrictions anyone wishing to attend this special Chanukah celebration, which features a custom made Menorah with a piece of original WTC steel, must RSVP no later than Monday, December 26th, to Betty Astrizky at BAstrizky@aol.com. Classic Chanukah treats will be served.
- Shomrim of Illinois will be holding their Annual Chanukah party on Sunday, December 29th, 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.
- NYPD Shomrim will have their Children’s Chanukah party on Sunday, December 29th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kingsborough College, Room V219, 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn, NY. The cost is $10 per child and $15 per adult. Contact Jacob.Novikov@gmail.com if you’d like to join in the fun.
On January 6, 2020, Shomrim of Maryland President Jeremy Silbert and their Chaplain Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum invite all to the Jewish Uniformed Services Association Law Enforcement and Military Appreciation Dinner at the Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and will honor Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt, the first female and Jewish police chief for the city of Baltimore, Lt. General H. Steven Blum (retired), Deputy Chief Sander Cohen and Calvin Butler. Please RSVP to Rabbi Tenenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also register online at www.jewishusamd.org/dinner.
Save the date for the NYPD Shomrim Society Annual Installation Dinner on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at Da Mikele Illagio in Queens, NY, when the incoming boards of both National Shomrim and NYPD Shomrim will be sworn in. Details will be in a future newsletter.
FDNY Ner Tamid Society will be having a Holocaust Memorial Service 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 they have a few spaces left for their annual Mission to Israel 2020. An eleven day trip beginning April 19 to 29, 2020, they visit the historical and spiritual locations of our ancestral homeland plus excursions to the Dead Sea, Masada and the Golan Heights. To join them please contact Elliot Miller in Chicago at (847) 778-7272; Sam Miller in NY at (347) 723-6709, and Gordon Nash in Florida (561) 632-7764.
We have exciting news! There is a chapter forming in the Greater Boston area being spearheaded by Chief Kenneth Berkowitz of the Canton Police Dept. Chief Berkowitz has been in contact with several members of the National Shomrim Executive Board over the past few months on the requirements to form a chapter and join our organization. He reports that he has quite a few potential members lined up. Once they are “official” we will have another great chapter to add to our always growing organization!
MEMBER NEWS AND INFORMATION
Mazal tov to National Shomrim President and Port Authority Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz and his wife Sharon on the bar mitzvah of their son Chad on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Scot and Sharon partied the night away with his family, including Port Authority Shomrim member Sean Pomerantz and his wife Danielle, and his many friends from Shomrim and the PAPD.
South Florida Shomrim Society President Harvey and First Lady Randi Meshel (also the chapter’s treasurer and membership coordinator) participated in Broward County’s 2019 Operation Homefront on December 6, 2019. Harvey and Randi volunteered to be “victims” at Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale International Airport, helping first responders from federal, state and local agencies, and private agencies, practice on how to better respond to active shooter scenarios and better protect and assist the traveling public in the event of a future tragedy. The Meshels are regular volunteers for this and many charities and are always the first to step up. Unfortunately the airport was the scene of an active shooter situation in 2017, where several people were killed and many others injured. Our National Shomrim President Scot Pomerantz and his wife Sharon, and his brother Sean and his wife Danielle, were at the airport that very day, having flown in for a family function. There were barricaded inside an office and evacuated safely.
Rabbi Pinchas Weberman, the South Florida Shomrim Society Chaplain, has not been well recently and is welcoming visitors while he recuperates. Rabbi Weberman is at Regents Park Rehabilitation Center, 19905 NE 25th Avenue, Aventura, FL, (305) 932-6360. Rabbi Weberman was unable to attend the chapter’s recent annual dinner dance and we wish him a refeuah shelemah!
NYPD Shomrim Society Financial Secretary Murray Ellman and Port Authority Shomrim Society First Vice President Betty Astrizky represented National Shomrim at the South Florida Shomrim Society Annual Dinner Dance on November 7th. They met up with their Shomrim friends, including past National Shomrim President and past Nassau Shomrim President Scott Bresalier and his wife Bonnie, Jared and Mindy Nash, and NYPD Shomrim member Leo Itzkowitz. National Shomrim Chaplain Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz also attended.
Our Shomrim expert on terrorism, Mordechai Dzikansky, recently spoke in several U.S. cities on the current terrorism threats to Israel and in our own country. Past Shomrim of Ohio President Gene Fixler attended one of these lectures in Columbus, Ohio on December 4th.
Saul Golubcow, the brother of Molly Golubcow, Shomrim of Philadelphia Past President and Mid-Atlantic Region Vice President Merrill Kelem’s better half, recently wrote an article in the Jewish Exponent on the firing of Gabe Kapler, the Jewish manager of baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies. You can google the article and read about Saul’s mixed feelings about the subject.
WHO ARE YOU? Our Facebook page recently featured a post of an NYPD officer standing in front of 770 Eastern Parkway, the headquarters of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, OBM, as he emerged from his office after recovering from a heart attack in 1977. Does anyone know this officer? We’d love to identify you and maybe get some insight into how it was to be in the presence of greatness. The officer appears at 1:50 in the video.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES! Our Facebook page is always updated with many different job opportunities with agencies across the country. Jobs in the Broward Sheriff’s Office; Clermont, FL; Lauderhill, FL; as well as with the FDNY as an EMT or EMS trainee. The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Dept. in Nassau County, NY and the Greater Naples (FL) Fire District had recruitments. An exam is being held for New York State Court Officers. There are civilian opportunities listed as well, including the NYPD Police Cadets Program, and the New York State Dept. of Labor is recruiting elevator construction apprentices. All public agencies need civilians to help keep cars, trains, elevators and all their services running 24/7, so please forward these opportunities to anyone in your family or your friends who are looking to get into public service. And keep checking our Facebook page, you never know when the perfect job for any of our members will be posted.
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. You can always sign up new members at different events, including cadets in training, the very popular Coffee With A Cop, Shop With A Cop, and with the holidays coming up, prospective members pop up asking about a Shomrim chapter they can join. At this time of the year many departments and agencies hold holiday events, so it could be a good opportunity to recruit new members to join your chapters. Don’t overlook any party or get-together, it could be the one time you meet a member who can make a difference for your chapter!
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS! We hope that you are planning on joining us at any one of our upcoming events. We want to see you at the Celebrate Israel Parade, or at a dinner, or anytime you visit any of our areas where we have a chapter. Please keep your membership active! Almost all of our associate members have paid thru 2019, and if you haven’t done so, please send in your dues for a reasonable $18 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. 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, DA/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.
The recent massacre in the kosher grocery store in Jersey City, NJ, has left us all sickened and once again very aware of how we are still targets for those who have unlimited hate for us. The murder of Jersey City Det. Joseph Seals started their deadly assault, and the news reported the killers bypassed other people and stores and targeted the kosher grocery store, murdering three more innocent people, including the store owner’s wife Leah Mindel Ferencz, an employee Douglas Rodriguez and a customer Moshe Deutsch. Thankfully the killers were shot dead by SWAT teams before anyone else could be killed. More information is coming out that the killers intended target was the girls Hebrew school next to the grocery store. We mourn with the families of all these innocent victims and pray that the Almighty, the True Judge, keeps them in perfect peace and gives their souls the highest of aliyahs. There are several ways to help the families, including the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which is paying off the mortgage of murdered Jersey City Police Office Det. Joseph Seals. Other charities are also fundraising for the victims’ families, including The Chesed Fund, jerseycityvictims.com, and the Douglas Rodriguez Victim of the JC Shooting Fund. And what is the best way to show our support for our Jewish businesses and fight those who hate us? Support and shop at your local kosher grocery stores, kosher restaurants, kosher businesses. Show them that we will never be afraid to be proud Jews!
Chapter dues and Associate Member dues go to the works of the organization. National Shomrim as well as many chapters are 501 (c)(3) charities, so dues go to charitable events and other important causes. We are happy to pay for events such as the beach bbq at the convention, the convention gift giveaway, the Celebrate Israel parade fee, collation fees and donations. This newsletter gets sent to members who don’t have email via U.S. Mail, and copies are made and distributed at events. These are the costs of doing business and we will continue to budget our expenses when it’s appropriate and when it will benefit National Shomrim, our chapters and our members.