Sidney Dinerstein was born in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn,
New York on April 12, 1946. He grew up in a typical working class
upwardly mobile family environment. Great value was placed on academic
excellence and independence. He attended P.S. 161 (K-6) and was
a member of the first graduating class of Lefferts Junior High
School, where he was voted Most Popular Boy of his class. Excelling
academically, he graduated from Wingate High School in January
1962 at the age of 15.
He majored in Economics at Brooklyn College. Courses in Public Speaking
motivated him to start reading voraciously and joining the Jewish
Fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity helped to prepare him for
his transition into a career-oriented world. He earned a Bachelor
of Arts degree from Brooklyn College in January, 1966, at the young
age of 19, and immediately entered the City College of New York’s
Business School where he was awarded a Masters of Business Administration
Degree in January, 1968.
On June 10, 1967 he married his childhood sweetheart, Esther Kanarek,
who he met while living in Flatbush. They started dating when they
Sid’s first job was as a computer programmer for Western Electric
Company’s Manhattan Headquarters. A couple of job switches and two
daughters later (Staci and Jodi), he moved his family to Northern
New Jersey. In 1974, he formed JBS Associates, Inc., a financial
services company catering to the retail community, with his partner,
Bob Weiner. JBS (named for Just Bob and Sid) grew rapidly. JBS Associates
soon grew to 100. They added a third partner, George Kraus.
Sid’s second career, Volunteerism, soon followed. He was elected
to the local Lakeland Regional School Board of Education in 1979
and, at the age of 33, was the youngest of the nine board members.
He served for six years, two as Board President, during which many
major changes were made.
As his daughters grew older, he became involved in girls’ sports.
Sid was a girls’ coach in three different sports over a nine year
period. He ran the town softball league, started the girls’ basketball
program and eventually coached the high school varsity field hockey
team for two seasons. He was honored by the Northern New Jersey Jaycees
as the Citizen of the Year, 1985-6.
In 1987, he and George bought out Bob’s interest in JBS Associates.
The company grew to 600 employees. On February 1, 1993, JBS was sold
to National City Corporation. That sale completed Sid’s transition
from Entrepreneur to full-time Volunteer.
The Dinersteins moved to Florida in 1990. Florida provided a whole
new array of volunteer opportunities for Sid. He became active on
the Tennis, Homeowners, Club Manager Search and Social Committees
in his community, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Sid. He went
looking for bigger challenges.
He found the local Republican Party and started learning a whole
new set of skills. Appointed to the Executive Board, he chaired the
Minority Outreach effort and organized a countywide “Get Out The
Vote” effort for the 1996 election. In 2001 he was elected Vice Chairman
of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County and in December, 2002
was elected Chairman, a position he holds to this day. However, the
title of which he is most proud is that of grandfather; first of
Leah and then of Becca.
In the years that followed, Sid Dinerstein became a high profile
media savvy community activist. He hosted a WPBR weekly radio talk
show focused on Education for one year. Guests included everyone
from the Superintendent of Schools to a 15-year-old homeschooler.
Sid took on both partisan and non-partisan projects and became the
self appointed advocate for Charter Schools. He became the county
spokesman for lower taxes and smaller budgets, taking on elected
officials of both parties. Sid had no problem speaking out against
wayward officeholders, even those of his own party, and soon built
a reputation for demanding high ethical standards for elected officials.
Simultaneously he chaired the Palm Tran Services Board, the empowered
board appointed by the Palm Beach County Commission to improve the
bus system. This board accomplished significant increases in ridership
through reconfiguring routes and schedules without additional buses.
He repeatedly turns down suggestions to run for public office, but
has always felt he has something significant to offer to American
politics—logical, concrete answers. After much encouragement from
friends and colleagues, he decided instead to write a book. His book, Adults
Only, is a non-partisan appeal to Americans
to “grow up.” He says, “It comes out of a fundamental truth that
stares me in the face every day: Lord Acton was right. ‘Power corrupts.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Realizing that Lord Acton was
right, across party lines, led to the writing of this book… an effort
to retrieve lost power on behalf of the citizenry.”