Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Poor, Jewish and on the Lower East Side: The New American Girl Doll

Normally, I save my musings about American Girl dolls and their roll in life for home – we have three daughters ranging in age from 15 – 8, so it’s not unfamiliar territory. But comments about the release of the new doll, due out May 31st, are stunningly revelatory about common attitudes towards Jews and Jewishness in America. And I don’t mean on the part of the manufacturers, but on the part of Jews.
Let’s start with the fact that this is the 14th doll in the American Girl series, but it’s being greeted like something for which we have been waiting with as much anticipation as we do the Messiah. I mean I understand the value of having dolls which reflect and affirm the experience of the kids who play with them, but I also like the fact that my youngest daughter chose a doll that is not even Caucasian, let alone Jewish!
I also find it a little weird when other writers and bloggers make declarations like “this is our history, right here in this doll”. Oh really, which “our” do they mean?


I know that a large percentage of American Jews have roots in eastern Europe, but a large percentage today also have roots in Ireland, Mexico, and Japan, just to name a few. And that doesn’t even address that the first Jews to come to America, more than 200 years before this doll’s parents arrived from Russia, were Sephardim!
We are a community that has entered Jewish life through inter-marriage, adoption, conversion, etc. And it would be far more interesting to address what it means to celebrate the Jewishness that could be found in any of the 13 previously created dolls, for none of whom that I know, does religion play nearly the role it does in the biography of little Rebecca Rubin.
It’s not that I think this is a bad thing. In fact, the more dolls the better….except for my budget. I am just not sure why having dolls whose “life” stories are written by an author who struggled to come of age as a Jew in the 50’s, is the place to begin for little Jewish girls today.

  • Giora

    One tiny doll is to represent or streotype a diverse population. A mission impossible for a blood line as diverse as the Jewish bloodline.

  • Randy Rossilli

    I agree with your finding the culture throughout the others, however, it would be a deep story to find the connection with Kaya, the Native American Indian American Doll (Two daughters 7 and 9 – I hear you on the budget LOL)
    My feelings are that you need to begin discussions somewhere. Maybe the books that will follow this doll will speak of her ancestors that followed 150 years before her family brought her to America. My family has been here from Italy and Hungary for 100 years, but there are still Rossilli’s that live in Italy and
    Kopin’s that live in Hungary that are my “relatives.”
    Sounds like a great recommendation for someone with the platform you have to make to the American Girl company. You know you have a friend in New Jersey, that would be willing to help you =).

  • KRISTA18Vv

    It’s not so simply to make a excellent essays written, especially if you are engaged. I recommend you to define <a href=" buy”>“>buy essays and to be spare from question that your work will be done by professionals

  • MayoALINE32

    I don’t think that each student in the world has got a passion of good essay creating! Nevertheless, students ,which don’t have writing skills should utilize an assistance of distinguished essays online service and be satisfied with a result.

  • mypromoeffori

    It was many years ago we first selected Top Restaurants in the U.S. See it.

  • Your Name

    Well , the view of the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum

  • black louboutins

    Well , the view of the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!   ...

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated ...

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often ...

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center ...

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 ...

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.