“Nobody in the world, no one, looks out for rabbis like Rabbi Joe Potasnik.”
So spoke Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, on Thursday night. The crowd, which spilled out into standing-room, had gathered to honor Rabbi Joseph Potasnik on the 42nd anniversary of his service to Congregation Mount Sinai. Joining congregants were elected officials, noted dignitaries and special guests such as recently-retired New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera. As events unfolded, it was again clear that each person in the rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall, and the ceremonial courtroom, is as dear to Rabbi Potasnik as he is to them.
Earlier in the evening, local elected officials presented proclamations to Rabbi Potasnik. Headlining that part of the ceremony was a tribute from Monsignor David Cassato, whom Potasnik said is “my own rabbi.” Msgr. Cassato is a NYPD chaplain, and pastor of St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest parishes in Brooklyn.
Among the elected officials were Borough President Eric Adams, longtime State Assemblywoman Joan Millman and City Councilmember Steven Levin. Also saluting Rabbi Potasnik, but free of the responsibility of issuing Proclamations, was immediate past Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who verbally proclaimed Potasnik as “America’s rabbi.”