We were sad when American Girl discontinued Samantha Parkington, our favorite doll, but it seems the company was making way for a new girl: Rebecca Rubin. Rebecca is American Girl’s first Jewish historical character, and she’s been a long time coming. For the past nine years, the company has been researching and developing the Rebecca character down to her hair color, which was supposedly a subject of debate for years. A 9-year-old in 1914, Rebecca lives on New York City’s Lower East Side her Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, siblings, and Bubbie, her grandmother.
The New York Times had a few Jewish culture and history experts read the books that tell Rebecca’s story, and despite a few inaccuracies, they said the books were quite sensitive and didn’t deal in stereotypes. We don’t think this should come as much of a surprise. When American Girl charges $95 for a doll, not including outfit changes and accessories, you’d hope they did their research. [NY Times]