Jon Horovitz has never been good with his hands and, until now, that may have seemed like a bad thing.
But Horovitz's non-handiness has helped cultivate subject matter for his new book, "Jews With Tools: Incredible True Stories of Life in Jewburbia," released in December. Despite not being a religious person, being Jewish is a big part of the 55-year-old Kinnelon resident's life.
"I've always been the only Jew, whether it's been growing up, going away to college in the southern part of Virginia...growing up, I always thought I was the only Jew around," he said.
In the writer's prologue of the book, Horovitz explains that he means no offense to the Jewish people and that readers should not feel such a way. Horovitz said the book was written humorously.
"I've always been the guy that tries to have the funny joke," the former comedian said.
The book catalogues a series of real-life adventures and incidents exaggerated to make for a more comedic story. Horovitz noticed that the feeling he had about being different because he was Jewish began to carry over in other ways in his life, particularly his handiness. He came to find that others were able to fix things or work with their hands in ways he never could.
"Not only did I fail at doing things, I screwed things up more than I should have," he said.
But Horovitz found the humor in this and decided to share these types of experiences in his book.
Horovitz and his wife, Jeanne, are well-known in the Kinnelon community, both having spent time volunteering in the 27 years they have lived in the borough. Horovitz is a past president of the Fayson Lakes Association and has been a leader of the Kinnelon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the past 10 years. After having surgery on his arm, Horovitz was out helping borough residents when Superstorm Sandy brought down trees and knocked out power in the borough for days.
He and his wife have raised two daughters in Kinnelon and, although he, himself, is Jewish, his family members actively volunteer at Our Lady of the Magnificat Church.
Horovitz said his wife is mentioned throughout the stories in the book. Another real person and neighbor who is frequently mentioned is "Bill."
"Throughout the book, he's always rescuing me," Horovitz said.
"Jews With Tools" was self-published but Horovitz said he is hoping that it is successful enough for him to have the other four books he has in mind to follow it published. His ultimate goal is to be interviewed on Howard Stern's radio show. Horovitz is also hoping to spread the word about the book through its Facebook page.