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    Fred Astaire

    Jew Score:



    (Frederick Austerlitz)
    May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987

    It's time for another installment of our "Ask Jew or Not Jew" feature, where young readers write in for advice. Here's a letter we recently received.

    Dear Jew or Not Jew, my parents want me to become a doctor. But all I want to do is dance, dance, dance! How do I go about changing their mind? — Noah Schwartz, 16, Cleveland, Ohio

    Dear Noah,

    Hmmmm. You got us here. How do we sell your parents on your career choice? Well, for starters, calculate the total cost of college and medical school, and make sure to adjust for inflation. Present your parents with all the breakdowns, show the final figure, and see if they still think medicine is the right occupation for you.

    That might work, but we have an inkling that your parents might make a point that there never have been any Jewish dancers. So bring up Fred Astaire. We bet your parents had no idea that quite possibly the greatest dancer ever was Jewish!

    Now, your parents might visit our website and find out that Astaire was only half Jewish, and, depending how you count, even less than that, since his Jewish grandparents converted. Not much we'd be able to do then. Sorry.

    Hope you enjoy a career in podiatry,

    Jew or Not Jew.

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    July 16, 2010

    See Also

    Irving Berlin

    Stanley Donen

    Jeff Goldblum

    Rita Hayworth

    Norman Mailer
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