Is Michael J. Fox Jewish?

Michael J. Fox is not Jewish, but his wife Tracey Pollan is Jewish. The actor, born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961, is a Canadian American actor, author, producer, activist and voice-over artist. He is famous for Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990); Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties (1982–1989); and, Mike Flaherty from Spin City (1996–2000).

Is Michael J. Fox Jewish?

Michael Andrew Fox was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the son of Phyllis (née Piper), an actress and payroll clerk and William Fox, a police officer and member of the Canadian Forces.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991, and disclosed his condition to the public in 1999. Fox semi-retired from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of his disease became more severe. He has since become an activist for research toward finding a cure. This led him to create the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

According to Nate Bloom:

At the Union for Reform Judaism's biennial convention last month, actor Michael J. Fox, 47, was the co-winner of the Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award. Fox's body shook from Parkinson's disease as he accepted the award on Dec. 14 in San Diego.

The former star of TV's "Family Ties" and "Spin City" has been tireless in his work for Parkinson's disease research and has been a strong advocate for stem cell research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which the actor started, has raised and spent over $50 million for Parkinson's research in the last three years. His work was praised by Union President Rabbi Eric Yoffie as "in keeping with the highest ideals of Judaism."

Fox told the Union convention that he was helping his twin daughters with their Torah homework when they came across a passage about David's fight with Goliath. Other Israelites wanted to give David a sword and armor for the fight, but David refused. Fox, making an analogy to misinformation about stem cell research, said, "I think David understood something fundamental about the deepest ideals of repairing the world. The armor, the weapons, the swords, they're just distraction--and distraction is not what wins the battle. You just need the truth."

So far as I know, Fox, who was not born Jewish, has not converted to Judaism (although that is possible). He belongs to a Reform synagogue in Manhattan, which he attends with his Jewish wife, actress Tracy Pollan, 47, and their four children (They have an 18-year-old son, twin 12-year-old daughters, and another 6-year-old daughter).

Pollan and Fox have a marriage that confounds the stereotype of Hollywood marriages as shallow and short-term. The couple met when Pollan, a teen actress, played Fox's girlfriend in several episodes of "Family Ties." They met again on a movie set a few years after "Family Ties" ended. A real-life romance ensued, and they married in 1988. In his autobiography, Fox credits Pollan as being amazingly steadfast as he conquered a problem with alcohol and as battled Parkinson's disease.

An acquaintance of mine happened to be present at the synagogue that Fox belongs to when the Foxes' son was bar mitzvah. He was seated not far from Fox and Pollan. After the ceremony was over, he overheard Michael say to some well-wishers, "This is the proudest day of my life."

1 comment:

  1. You fail to mention a very big part of Michael j's life in that he has long been married to actress, Tracy Pollan, who IS JEWISH. I don't know whose religion the children follow, but my guess would be Judaism.


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