Thank you all for electing me the next president of National Shomrim.
When I assumed the presidency of the Port Authority Shomrim Society in 2008, the members of the organization briefed me about the history of Shomrim, how it was formed, that it was the oldest fraternal organization in the Port Authority, and they also told me about their original menorah that was sadly destroyed, like the original WTC, in the 9/11 attacks. It was a beautiful reminder of how Chanukah was celebrated in those days and how that menorah stood, with its shining lights, in a place of honor for the world to see.
I joined Port Authority Shomrim right after I was sworn in as a police officer for the bi-state government agency. I never thought, all those years ago, that not only would I be president of the organization but that I would have the chance to lead National Shomrim. A great and unexpected benefit is that I have made lifelong friends through my association with both organizations and with the Port Authority Police. As president of Port Authority Shomrim I have guided the organization for ten years. It was formed in the 1970s by several members of the Port Authority Police, and as I mentioned before, is the oldest fraternal organization in the agency. When it was clear that the civilian members of the agency were also looking for a Jewish organization to join, the decision was made to admit them, resulting in a large and vibrant organization. Port Authority Shomrim marches every year in the Celebrate Israel Parade, and I am proud to stand with other Shomrim presidents and the National Shomrim board as we lead the largest delegation of Jewish pride in the nation up Fifth Avenue. I represent Port Authority Shomrim at many other chapter events, have supported our chapter as we have taken on charitable causes, such as as Passover food drive for a kosher food pantry in the Rockaways near JFK Airport, a tallis drive for the Hebrew Free Burial Society, and I oversee a scholarship fund, awarding a college bound child of an active member a small but hopefully meaningful stipend towards their college costs. As the president I often sit in on National Shomrim meetings and now that I will be the first Port Authority Shomrim president ever to lead National Shomrim, I have been and will continue to be firmly committed to ensuring that National Shomrim will be there for our members and all Jewish employees from all chapters.
I am very grateful to have had a great career with the Port Authority Police. Starting with my swearing in over 15 years ago, I have worked at some of the busiest and famous facilities in New York – JFK Airport, the gateway to the world; PATH, the trains that connect New York to New Jersey; and now I am the special events lieutenant at one of the most recognizable and most visited landmarks in the world – The World Trade Center. This 16 acre site encompasses One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere, Four World Trade Center, Seven World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the newly opened WTC Transportation Hub/Oculus. It is a 24/7/365 commitment and I have some of the best trained police officers in the world that help me with this monumental task.
I plant to attend as many National Shomrim chapter events as my work schedule and my family commitments will allow. I want to thank my beautiful wife Sharon and my two amazing children, Carly and Chad, for their patience while I take on the presidency of National Shomrim and continue to oversee the Port Authority Shomrim Society. Thank you again for your confidence in me.