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May 29th, 2009
09:10 AM ET

American Girl unveils first Jewish-American doll

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="American Girl unveils Rebecca Rubin, their first Jewish-American doll."]

American Girl dolls are known for their unique identities, representing different time periods and ethnic cultures. CNN’s Lola Ogunnaike got a sneak peak at the latest one to find out what's different about her.

She's nine years old, 18 inches tall and has luscious brown hair. Offer a warm shalom to Rebecca Rubin, American Girl's first historical Jewish doll.

“She's born here in New York, her parents have emigrated from Russia and she goes through those trials and tribulations of a traditional family with her bubbe [grandmother] and her mom and her dad…and understanding what life was like on the Lower East Side,” says Judith Herbst, Senior Manager for Marketing, American Girl.

Rebecca has been in the works since 2000. The shade of her hair, the style of her dress, her life in the early 1900's were all meticulously researched. Even her accessories are historically accurate.

“For Hanukkah…there is a menorah, there is a Shabbat set, there's a challah set,” says Herbst.

New York City's Tenement Museum will host tours for girls eager to learn more about Rebecca's fictional past.

“What we're extraordinarily pleased with, is the degree now to which the Rebecca Rubin story parallels, tells through a doll the same story we tell through this building…It's a story of struggle, it's a story of coming to the United States because of aspiration and hope,” says Morris J. Vogel, President Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

The young ladies we talked to were more interested in hair than history when they got an early peak at the new girl in town.

“I love her hair and she's just so pretty and her dress…It's so pretty. I love the red. Red is one of my favorite colors so I really like it,” said Abby. “Her hair is very wavy,” said Caroline.

“What do you think of her shoes,” I asked Chantel. “Very lovely…The leather of them. Very good,” she said.

Clearly they're sold. Now all the girls have to do is convince their moms.

“The puppy dog face really works and if she says no, go to daddy, so that usually gets it,” Abby said with a smile.

Filed under: Pop Culture
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Alicia Alexa Avery & Jillian

    So excited to learn about Rebecca! We were at AGP while CNN was there, but did not get any details because my shy little girls would not go near Lola or the cameraman. The doll is exquisite in person! You can now see her on the AG website.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:19 am |