IHF Honors 10/7 Hero Israeli Police Inspector on Yom HaShoah

The Israel Heritage Foundation honored Israeli Police Inspector Mali Shoshana on Monday evening, May 6, with a special dinner at Prime Bistro in Lawrence, New York. Superintendent Shoshana is the commander of the Volunteer Division in the Lachish region.

“We advocate for Israel and will do anything for the Israeli people; our heart is with Israel,” stated Rabbi Duvid Katz, Executive Director at IHF. “Since October 7, we have visited Eretz Yisrael twice, and next week we go again.” Rabbi Katz continued, “It’s all about kevod Shamayim, helping Eretz Yisrael,” adding, “This is our nisayon; Hashem wants to see our m’siras nefesh and how much we give ourselves away for Israel.” Rabbi Katz called the work of Dep. Chief Richie Taylor, Commander NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, “a tremendous kiddush Hashem,” saying that “he is a role model for the entire police department and for all of klal Yisrael.”

“We can never do enough to support you and show solidarity,” said Rabbi Dr. Joseph Frager, IHF’s Executive Vice President, to Shoshana. “We all felt Yom HaShoah on October 7; you felt it closer and harder. I don’t know how you’re able to smile or how you are able to function at all, but you are. The Jewish people will be resilient and will survive. We will defeat all our enemies, including the evils in America, but first we have to deal with our enemies in Israel.

The dinner was notably attended by another Israeli detective, who has dedicated 27 years in service, and NYPD Police Officer Joshua Farazmand, serving at 102nd Precinct in Kew Gardens, who traveled to Israel with other Jewish officers this past December.

Other attendees included Chantelle Bibi of Atlantic Beach and Manhattan, and her friend artist and writer Karen Miller Kahn, who is fighting the anti-Israel PR war by showing positive stories, and Chaverim of Queens and Great Neck co-founder Avigdor Cyperstein, QJL co-publisher Yaakov Serle who hid in a safe room with his daughter, son-in-law, and their family on 10/7; Shlomi Cohen, CEO, Hoshen Media Group, who is at the helm of a series about 10/7, and Israel advocates Victoria and Shalom Zirkiev. Pinny Engel, a former Golani Brigade officer, went down South on 10/7 to fight. Israel Max, CEO of his company, was one of the first to send some 70 drones to the frontlines.

“All four of my grandparents are from Europe and went through the Holocaust,” said Queens Jewish Alliance Chairperson Sorolle Idels. “We were told never again, but it’s a lie. As long as we are in this country, it’s every single person’s job to speak with our mouths or pens. I started an organization where we discussed who to vote for. The elected officials send me messages, ‘Look what I posted on Twitter,’ so they see and know I’m watching them. At the Nova Festival in New York, a politician said to me, ‘I’m being very vocal, right?’ I said, ‘Yes. You’re pretty good; you need to be more.’ He wanted me to say, ‘Oh you’re so great,’ but that’s not what I said. ‘You need to speak up, because if everybody spoke up, then it wouldn’t be happening. What’s going on now, even more anti-Semitism than we ever had before.’”

“There are a number of Holocaust survivors at our facility, but all our hearts are with Israel,” said Linda Spiegel, Director Public Affairs at Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation, which was founded for Shoah survivors by survivors themselves.

Rabbi Tzvi (Harry) Berkowitz, founder and director of Universal Jewish Police Association and Project Talmai, informed me of Shoshana’s presence in New York for the National Police Defense Foundation dinner a few days later where she was awarded the Detective Jack Holder Medal of Honor Award. With an open slot on her schedule, IHF readily agreed to host a reception in her honor.

On October 7, 2023, Shoshana offered to cover an unscheduled shift at the Sderot police station in Israel where she was the Chief of Command. Ultimately, she spent eight hours on the rooftop of the building, valiantly fighting Hamas terrorists. Moments after starting her shift, emergency sirens blared, and she took notice of heavily armed terrorists traveling along the road heading directly toward her police station. Though armed only with her pistol and no additional ammunition, she and six other police officers climbed atop their command where they engaged the terrorists in a gun battle. Shoshana fought a heroic battle, throwing back a hand grenade that the terrorists threw at her. At least four of her colleagues have perished since that fateful day, two on the roof where Shoshana sustained a shot in the arm. When she was running low on ammunition, Shoshana prepared for the inevitable, asking dispatch to tell her son she loved him. Once the terrorists had captured her station, some had reached her position on the rooftop. Shoshana, alongside other wounded officers, pretended to be dead, hoping to buy a few minutes for IDF forces to arrive. Her heroism in the face of overwhelming odds is a testament to her strength. She was one of few who helped buy critical moments for the Israel Defense Forces to mount a defense and to drive attackers back.

Berkowitz joined law enforcement in 1978, serving mainly as a police chaplain for the Transit Authority MTA police, where he was a noted mediator traveling the world sharing his knowledge. There, he developed a group of 85 volunteer chapters throughout the tri-state area to assist employees and family members in times of need. On behalf of the National Shomrim Society, he established a very strong bond with Israeli police. At a Washington, DC, Chanukah event where 61 Israeli officers were remembered, Berkowitz and Shoshana first met. This past week Shoshana, a 30-year police veteran, turned 55. She is a single mother to 21-year-old Erez, an Air Force soldier, and together they live in Ashdod.