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    04.16.15 Rabbi Joseph Potasnik ’86 Delivers Keynote at St. Francis College Holocaust Remembrance
    Rabbi Joseph Potasnik '86

    Rabbi Potasnik’s address focused on the central question “Did we do our best?” He considered the stories of Christian families that helped Jewish families during the Holocaust as well as those who knew of the atrocities committed yet stood by and took no action.  

    “We have a strange custom during Passover where we search the house for bread particles, then we rid ourselves of them because we say we’re not allowed to have bread during Passover,” he said. “But what we also do is very strange. After we do the search, we offer a declaration, and we state openly that we searched, we found the bread, we destroyed it, but there is a chance that there may be other particles that we didn’t destroy. God, we did the best we could. Please accept whatever we do. When we look at the story of the Holocaust, that’s the story that has to be raised: Did we do our best?”

    Rabbi Potasnik is currently executive vice president and former president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the largest interdenominational body of its kind. He is the rabbi emeritus of Congregation Mount Sinai, where he served as spiritual leader for 42 years.