Star Trek: The Next Generation was the second iteration of the iconic 1960s science-fiction TV show. It was praised for its vision of a future that wasn’t distant and mechanical, but undeniably human–even in its depictions of alien characters.
Lt. Comm. Worf, a Klingon alien, was orphaned and subsequently adopted by Sergey Rozhenko, a former Starfleet officer, and his wife (both human). In the series’ fourth season, a trip to Earth is occasion for Worf’s adoptive parents to visit him at work.
The couple was played by Theodore Bikel and Georgia Brown, two renowned Jewish actors. Bikel is most famous for playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Brown, whose birth name was Lillian Claire Laizer Getel Klot, was a Broadway actor (she died in 1992) who starred in Oliver! and The 7% Solution.
Nowhere in the show is it directly specified that Worf’s parents are Jewish. However, they’re introduced as caricatures of traditional Jewish parents. First, Bikel begs Worf to show him his workplace. “We have come to see our son, not the spaceship,” his mother shoots back, and his father meekly surrenders. And so, for years, fans of the show have accepted as canon–or, at least, as a treasured bit of trivia–that the hulking Klingon warrior aboard the starship Enterprise is a Jew.