This past Sunday, May 14, a wide range of Jewish participants attended the National Conference of Shomrim Societies’ annual memorial Kaddish service in Washington, DC, at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Judiciary Square. The sole Jewish-themed program held in conjunction with National Police Week paid special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty while providing safety and protection to others. The morning event highlighted Shomrim Society’s mission of uniting police, fire, and public safety officers of the Jewish faith for the welfare of all. The event often pays tribute to the sacrifice of Secret Service members at the United States Secret Service Wall of Honor Memorial and celebrates Israeli police officers in a unifying gesture. A dinner as part of the Shomrim Society’s Police Unity Tour was sponsored by Boro Park resident Yeedle Perlstein.

Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz, National Shomrim Chaplain, was the spiritual coordinator for this memorial ceremony, and worked alongside Shomrim of DC to ensure the program’s success. Rabbi Berkowitz continues his work on behalf of the klal following a storied career at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), where he is a retired Chief Chaplain of their police department. National Police Memorial Week ran this past weekend, May 13 through 15, in the nation’s capital. A collation followed the commemoration, a short walk from the memorial site at 441 4th Street NW.

The Queens Jewish Link joins the attendees in mourning the loss of our fallen Jewish heroes. We acknowledge those who traveled to Washington: Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz, ret. Chief Chaplain, MTAPD; Major General Dror Avda, Israel Police Attache; Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, Shomrim Chaplain, Port Authority of NJ-NY; Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, NJ State Police Chaplain; Yeedle Perlstein of Boro Park; Chief Jay Gruber, program moderator; David Malka, Israel Border Police Officer; Sheriff Mike Safris, coordinator of US-Israel Unity Tour; Rick Snyder, National Chaplain, Fraternal Order of Police; Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum, Shomrim Society of Maryland; and Yoni Zeitek, Israel Police Superintendent and tour coordinator.

By Shabsie Saphirstein