The Yiddish Book Center's

Wexler Oral History Project

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.

Reciting Itzik Manger’s Poem, “Afn Veg Shteyt a Boym (By the Road Stands a Tree)”

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In this excerpt from our short film, "Leonard Nimoy’s Mameloshn: A Yiddish Story," Leonard Nimoy–Jewish actor most well-known for his role as Spock on the Star Trek science fiction series–recalls Itzik Manger’s poem, “Afn Veg Shteyt a Boym (By the Road Stands a Tree),” about the relationship between a mother and son. In the clip, which is intercut with a recording of Manger himself reciting the poem, from the Yiddish Book Center’s Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library, Nimoy connects the poem to his own experience of leaving home to pursue acting.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Leonard Nimoy.

This excerpt is in English and Yiddish.

Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1931. Leonard died in 2015.

This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.

More information about this oral history excerpt