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Updated: January 21, 2024

James T Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, was played by William Shatner. The Canadian actor, who was raised in a Conservative Jewish family, was born in 1931 to Anne and Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer. All of his grandparents, who hailed from Austria, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine, were also Jewish.

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. His mother, Dora (nee Spinner), was a homemaker, and his father, Max Nimoy, owned a barbershop. Raised as an Orthodox Jew, Nimoy recounts that he regularly visited his local synagogue as a young child The Trekky Tribe Aside from Shatner and Nimoy, Walter Koenig, who played USS Enterprise navigator Pavel Chekov, and Mark Lenard ( who played Spocks father, Sarek ) were also Jewish. More recent series have featured Jewish actors Brent Spiner ( android Lieutenant Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation ), Armin Shimmerman ( Ferengi bartender Quark in Deep Space Nine ) and Wallace Shawn ( Grand Nagus Zek in Deep Space Nine ). Many of the original shows producers, including Robert Justman, Herb Solow and Fred Freiberger also identify as Jewish. Anton Yelchin, who portrayed Pavel Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek series tragically died in an accident earlier this year, aged just 27.

While the famous Star Trek theme tune was penned by Alexander Courage, the score for the first feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was written by the American- Jewish composer Jerry Goldsmith. He would later compose the scores for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis, as well as the themes to the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager.

The Vulcan greeting is based upon a blessing gesture used by the kohanim ( koe-hah-neem ) during the worship service. Chanukkah celebrates the miracle of a small jug of oil lasting 8 days.

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