American Girl introducing Jewish doll


SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — The first Jewish historical doll in the American Girl series goes on sale at the end of the month.

Rebecca Rubin is a 9-year-old girl living on the Lower East Side in 1914. She lives with her parents, grandparents and four siblings in a row house — a step up from the poverty of tenement life — and they struggle to bring the rest of the family over from Russia.

The 18-inch-tall doll, which officially goes on sale May 31, comes with six books about her life and the immigrant world of 1914 New York. Rebecca confronts many of the same dilemmas faced by today’s American Jewish children, such as learning to navigate between Christmas and Chanukah, and also stands up for workers’ rights in the early days of unionizing.

“This is our history, right here in this doll,” says author Meredith Jacobs of Rockville, Md., host of “The Modern Jewish Mom” on The Jewish Channel. “I don’t think people who aren’t Jewish think about how big a deal it is for a mainstream doll company to make something Jewish.”

The Rebecca doll joins 14 others in the American Girl historical character series, including a Native American, Latino and African-American.

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