Sid Dinerstein

Author's Profile

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 were 15.

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.”

 

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