Nimoy: 'Trek Has Made It Possible For Me To Make Choices'By Kristine
December 7, 2003 - 7:05 PM
Leonard Nimoy's (Spock) second Nimoy Concert Series kicks off on December 14th at the Temple Israel of Hollywood, which, along with his photography and philanthropy, has been his primary focus of late.
Speaking to the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, Nimoy said, "Star Trek has made it possible for me to make choices, and Jewish projects are what I choose to do. I feel authentic doing them. They make me feel at home."
Nimoy will open his second season of his concert series with narration of "The Chanakah Story." The texts will be set to Chassidic, Israeli and Sephardic music, which will be performed by West Wind Vocal Ensemble. Future concerts in the series will feature Los Angeles Jewish Symphony chamber players and Mikveh, an all-woman klezmer band.
Nimoy said he identified with Spock as an outsider when he took the role. "As a Jew from Catholic Boston, I understood what it was like to feel alienated, apart from the mainstream," he said.
He went on to add that he saw the values of Star Trek fitting in with those of the Jewish faith. "There were a number of values in Star Trek that I felt very comfortable with as a Jew," he said. "The futuristic society is a meritocracy that values education, social justice and tikkun olam, repairing the world. That’s exactly what we were out there doing on the Starship Enterprise: trying to heal the universe."
Nimoy also spoke about how he initially refused to do conventions in Germany because of the Holocaust. When he finally did go, about five years ago, he found it a rewarding experience. "There was such intense emotion emanating from that audience," he said. "The subtext was, 'Thank you for presenting yourself as a Jew here in front of us. Thank you for dealing with us as a new generation.'"
For more from Nimoy on his faith, Trek, and his photography, check out the interview at The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.