Olive Branch Cemetery Restoration

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors welcomes our newest Director Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, in addition to Michael Shane Wamsley, Julie Ann Wamsley, and Daniel Rona. A sketch of each member is provided below:

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik

Rabbi Potasnik is the Executive Vice President of The New York Board of Rabbis, the largest interdenominational rabbinic body in the world. Since 1972, he has been the spiritual and educational leader of Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, New York.  He is presently Rabbi Emeritus. He has served as Chaplain of the New York City Fire Department since 1999. Rabbi Potasnik maintained a high profile, helping many families cope with the disaster of September 11th, 2001. 

Rabbi Potasnik is the co-host along with Deacon Kevin McCormack of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, of “Religion on the Line,” which airs every Sunday morning on WABC Talk Radio, 770 AM, from 7:30 to 9AM.  It is the longest running radio show in the history of WABC. Rabbi is the religious commentator for 1010 WINS Radio, succeeding the late Rabbi Marc Tannenbaum. He is the host of the TV program Faith to Faith on Jewish Broadcasting Service (“JBS”), which is seen around the country and invites people of all faiths to participate in meaningful conversation.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Center for Thought & Culture. 

He was appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and reappointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the New York City Campaign Finance Board. He also served as a member of the New York Human Rights Commission, and Chaplain of the New York Press Club. Rabbi Potasnik was awarded the Jan Karski Humanitarian Award 2014 by the Polish Consulate, named in honor of a Polish patriot, a Catholic, and hero of the Polish Resistance. He also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2014.

Rabbi Potasnik has published numerous articles in local Brooklyn newspapers, assorted Jewish newspapers and the New York Post.  He also authored the Forward for “The Illustrated Jewish Bible for Children.” He is completing a new book, “Just Give Me a Minute” which will contain many of his featured commentaries on 1010Wins. In 2013, he was selected by the Forward Newspaper as one of the 50 most inspiring Rabbis.

Rabbi Potasnik received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yeshiva College, and his Master of Science from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University.  In 1972, he was ordained from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University.  In addition, in 1986 he received his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School.  He is the proud father of 29-year-old Harrison Potasnik.

Michael Shane Wamsley

Michael currently serves as a Director and Treasurer of Olive Branch Cemetery Restoration.  Michael has more than thirty years experience in the areas of accounting and finance, and has held many top leadership positions over the course of his career.  As Director, Mr. Wamsley serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Olive Branch, and is responsible for overseeing the organization’s day to day operations.  He presides at board meetings, and steers the organization's grand strategy.  In his capacity as Treasurer, Mr. Wamsley is responsible for maintaining the organization's financial records, seeking dontations, and performing general administrative duties.

Julie Ann Wamsley

Julie Ann Wamsley currently serves as the Secretary of Olive Branch Cemetery Restoration.  She has extensive experience in the salon industry, and has managed her own business for several years.  She has held various management and supervisory positions. As Secretary, Julie Ann Wamsley is responsible for keeping the minutes of the proceedings of the Board of Directors.  She is also the custodian of all books, records, papers, and property of Olive Branch, and performs administrative duties as necessary. 

Daniel Rona

Mr. Rona is a businessman with the Ensign Foundation.  He operates a successful travel business, specializing in tours toIsrael and the Holy Land.  Mr. Rona began a career in broadcasting in the late 1960’s, which he cut short after deciding to move his family to Israel.  While there, he began a house-painting business and, later, tours to the Holy Land.  He has experience working with nonprofit charitable organizations, having founded the Ensign Foundation, which encourages identity restoration of the peoples of Joseph and Judah, and builds bridges of understanding between them by fostering the exchange of science, technology, music, culture, education, along with humanitarian service.