A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
Leonard Nimoy's Mameloshn: A Yiddish Story
Yes, Leonard Nimoy speaks Yiddish. Learn more about Leonard (Leyb) Nimoy from his Jewish roots in Boston's heymish West End neighborhood to his brief stint working with famous Yiddish theatre maven Maurice Schwartz in these video highlights from the Wexler Oral History Project's interview with the man made famous by his role as Spock on Star Trek.
This interview was conducted in English and Yiddish
Leonard Nimoy was born in 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. Leonard, z"l, died in 2015.
This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Leonard Nimoy's Mameloshn: A Yiddish Story9 minutes 53 seconds
“Closing The Circle”: Leonard Nimoy On Meeting Nimoy Relatives in Zaslav11 minutes 30 seconds
Paying a Psychotherapist to Speak Yiddish With Me1 minute 38 seconds
A Catholic Could Never Be President?: The Political Atmosphere of Leonard Nimoy’s Childhood Home2 minutes 43 seconds
Leonard Nimoy Remembers His First Foray Into Yiddish Theater in Los Angeles1 minute 57 seconds
Leonard Nimoy's Stint Working With Yiddish Theatre Director and Actor Maurice Schwartz4 minutes
Leonard Nimoy Remembers Boston's West End Neighborhood7 minutes 10 seconds
Leonard Nimoy Shares His Sense of Zaslav, His Parents’ Hometown2 minutes 55 seconds
Live Long and Prosper: The Jewish Story Behind Spock, Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek Character5 minutes 27 seconds
An Encore Bar Mitzvah Performance: Leonard Nimoy Reflect on his Religious Exposure as a Child2 minutes 41 seconds
Leonard Nimoy on the Search for A Heymish, Comfortable Jewish Community in California2 minutes 19 seconds
Leonard Nimoy Reflects On The Experience Of Playing Tevye In His Hometown2 minutes 30 seconds
“This Is What I Have To Do With The Rest Of My Life”: Starting an Acting Career Outside the West End5 minutes 57 seconds
More information about this oral history excerpt
Themes in this oral history excerpt:
- Family history, stories about ancestors
- Jewish Identity
- Yiddish language
- Yiddish learning
- Coming back to Yiddish
- Yiddish speaker
- Immigration, Migration
- Career and Professional Life
- Religion and ritual
- Synagogue, shul, temple
- United States
- Food and culinary traditions
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About the Wexler Oral History Project
Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.
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