The Meyer W. Nathans Service Award is presented annually to recognize individuals for their outstanding contribution of service over many years to the Congregation. We are very pleased to announce that Jane Dystel will be honored as this year’s award recipient. Jane exemplifies the type of selfless service to the community for which “Mike” Nathans himself was well known, demonstrating what it means to be an active and engaged member of our community.
Jane and her husband Steve Schwinder joined CRS in 1999 with son, Zachary and daughter, Jessica. Zach, a Bar Mitzvah and Confirmand of CRS, is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
She has served on the CRS Board of Trustees and chaired the Communications and Adult Ed Committees. When she became chair of the Adult Ed Committee, she hoped that her passion for adult Jewish education along with her “publishing knowledge would help to enhance our curriculum.” In fact, she was instrumental in developing new program ideas that generated interest and increased attendance, leaving a lasting legacy. With her astute insight, she has been a dependable participant in the Ritual, Rabbinic Search, Board of Trustees Nominating, and Cantorial Search Committees, and was chair of the CRS 175th Anniversary celebration’s Comedy and Community Event. Jane also received the Gemilut Chasadim award for her work in the Backpack Buddies program.
Jane is President of the literary management agency, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, which she founded in 1994. Known for having a strong commitment to her authors and their writing careers, she represented President Obama’s first book, Dreams From My Father. She has said that the most important thing she learned from working in the publishing business is that “it is full of wonderful new ideas and creative ways of making them work.” She has certainly brought that same desire and determination to everything she does at our beloved Congregation.
Jane, we mourned with you when you lost your father who died at the age of 101 in 2014. Oscar Dystel was a publishing legend who headed Bantam Books for thirty years. Just as he was well known for making shrewd judgments, your Rodeph Sholom family has reliably counted on you for that same sound reasoning.
We are grateful for all that you do for the Rodeph Sholom community. Your dedication, generosity, and commitment made a difference. For your outstanding contributions to the Congregation, we say thank you and Yasher Koach!
Past Meyer W. Nathans Service Award Recipients
1991 Meyer “Mike” Nathans
1992 Henry Jacoby
1993 Nancy Solomon
1994 Hon. Helen Freedman
1995 Mary Sue Harkavy
1996 Joanna Kapner and Aaron Spiegel
1997 Jay Kranis
1998 Frederick Rudd
1999 John Kowal
2000 Alan Rosenthal
2001 Arnold Harkavy
2002 Roberta Semer
2003 Karen and Robert Weintraub
2004 Dr. Ann Beaton
2005 Bea Bayer
2006 Stephanie Lasher
2007 Donna Schragis and Joni Peltz
2008 W. W. Chuck Weiss
2009 Paul Arnsten and David Fleischer
2010 Debra Frischer
2011 Clare Sheridan
2012 Joseph Singer
2013 Susan and Doug Nemens
2014 Sarah Brooks and Rita Lichtenstein
2015 Arnold Bressler
2016 Catherine Sull and Dr. Jacalyn Shafer
2017 Sloan Schickler
2018 Janie Roher and Claudia Wagner
2019 Nancy Crown and Gina Levine
2020 Jane Dystel