New York – American Girl To Unveil Jewish Doll With Glatt Kosher Style Dinner

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    New York – The pre-tween set is abuzz with the rumor that the newest American Girl doll is Jewish. Officials at the Wisconsin-based company confirm that she is, indeed, a Jewish character, calling her “a lively girl from New York City,” but have embargoed her name and most other story details until May 29th.

    American Girl dolls, for those who haven’t yet been indoctrinated, are larger-than-usual (18-inches tall) dolls with well-made clothes and overpriced accessories that inspire cultish devotion among the demographic that can afford them.

    The company, started by a Wisconsin woman in 1982 and bought by Mattel in 1998 is indeed part of the entertainment-industrial complex, but I’ve found the dolls a welcome relief from the Barbie doll universe, which is dominated by dolls in makeup, clothes and heels that look more appropriate for grown-up play in the old Times Square than they do play for little girls.

    Don’t even get me started about inappropriateness of Bratz dolls, who dress like the Pussycat Dolls and are hardly the models of womanhood, even if only in plastic, that I want in front of my young daughters.

    American Girl dolls have a different feel. The historical dolls that are the backbone of the AG enterprise are built around fully-fleshed-out characters, about 10 years old, who behave like real girls — full of spunk and intelligence.

    The dolls are built like actual girls, with none of the unrealistic wasp waists. Each character comes with books filled with details about the periods when the characters lived, from the 1700s through the 1970s, and give readers easy-to-imbibe history lessons along with the escapades.

    The catch is, though, that they’re all expensive — about $100 for each doll, including a book and outfit — and sold only through the AG catalogue, Web site and stores, which also sell matching human-sized clothing for girls. Accessories can be lavish and are priced to match, ranging from a few dollars for a pair of doll shoes or glasses, to $349 for a doll storage cabinet.

    American Girl Place stores are impressive exercises in savvy marketing. Each has a fancy café where a girl and her grown-ups can have high tea or lunch, complete with doll-sized teacups and chairs. The stores have salons where, for a price, used-and-abused dolls are put into beauty-parlor chairs and given the French braids or curls of their girl-owner’s choice, and the girls get matching hair do-dads.

    The New York store’s personal shopper recently sent out an email promoting the Jewish AG doll’s official debut day on May 31st, with an array of activities at the store and at the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. In June,you can go on an AG New York City harbor cruise and dinner — kosher-style, with glatt-kosher available.

    Plus, the AG Web site has just started offering a “Chanukah gift set” for $20 — replete with a doll-sized menorah, dreidel and gelt. Probably getting an early start on the rush for the newest American Girl doll.

    My 10-year-old daughter and her pals can’t wait.

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    27 COMMENTS

    1. anyone have any more information, I can’t wait for my kids to play with shprintza the 180 dollar afikoiman present. I also would love to buy the tzitzis for my chaim shmeel doll but they cost more than the tzitzis for my actual son.

    2. i had an american girl doll growing up, and she was the best! mind you, they didn’t have the obscene marketing then, but it was really great, especially the books she came with. and the author is definitely right that these dolls are much more appropriate for little girls than barbies.

    3. They had a Jewish doll a few years ago (it was their “doll of the year”, which means that it is available only during that year). As far as I remember the description in their catalog, that one was also a “lively girl”, and one of her stories was about her trying to “turn her teachers into lovebirds”. Well, I guess, that is how average American understands jewishness.

    4. I too am fairly open minded and i fully agree with what How Far says. Buying a doll set that can easily cost several hundred dollars to complete is the absolute epitome of stark materialism. Achashveirosh also had a glatt kosher meal replete with Herzog wines and a Bdatz hechsher and it brought us to almost complete destruction. Go to Toys R Us and you’ll find many inexpensive quality dolls that are not barbie and not Pussycat or Spice Girls. And you can buy a beaituful kitchen set toy for less than $100. American Girl is a narishkeit that is far beyond rationalization in any household, especially a yiddish shtieb.

    5. My daughters while they were growing up, and now my granddaughters, all begged me to buy them the “American Girl” doll. This doll is hideously expensive and my daughters and granddaughters all had to content themselves with looking at the catalog.

    6. We already have the Mitzvah kinder complete with adorable accessories at a much better price. Sorry American Girl. Your’re idea is a few years late and a few dollars overboard.

    7. My daughters grew up well adjusted with ordinary dolls, none of which cost more than $10.00, and most were bought 2nd hand in the flea market. Most of the dolls’ wardrobes were either discarded baby clothes or handmade ones, by yours truly. When I was a girl I had an ordinary baby doll for which I also made clothes. This gashmiusdike way we live has got to stop. You’d think this was the most important thing in a child’s life. Is this going to bring Moshiach?

    8. You know every Chinese Auction will offer them as prizes! Are they tznius (skirts, knees & elbows covered etc)? Why wait till Chanukah for accessories? They can have a succah & lulav & esrog. Or a seder plate. Megillah. Shabbos table setting.

      And don’t forget Chaimke, the boy doll! He’ll be along soon.

      My grandaughters are going to want them. Go to your mommies! Bubby actually says no!!

    9. Listen here, if she comes with a tray filled with well-knobbeled galaretta, two large slices of ibber-genechtigte kigel, a heap of sauted labor, and a steaming plate of delicious cholent and kalechel, why fathers and grandfathers will go pelting out to grab one

    10. Lighten up people – it is just a doll. No it won’t bring mashiach, yes our children will grow up well adjusted without owning one, but seriously, to talk as if it is the end of Jewish life as we know it is and absurd if not bordering on alarmist.

    11. No fair! NO FAIR!!!! OK let me fill you in: About four years back, I treated my daughter to an “American Girl” doll called Samantha, who supposedly lived about 100 years back…The doll had adorable accessories…plus a very sweet book about her “life”…My daughter enjoyed the doll and book so much that—after bamboozling me to “invest” in Samantha’s desk–another $75 or so— we decided to compose our OWN piece about Samantha’s summer vacation–while imagining that Samantha was a little JEWISH GIRL…We worked quite hard on the piece–and it was really pretty sweet (if I may say so myself)…and it was supposed to be the first chapter of a novel we hoped to create…and then we sent it in to the company and also spoke to them on the phone…Now here we get to the clincher!!!! they told us that at that time there was no plan on having a Jewish American Girl Doll (maybe sounds too “JAPPY” ?)…(actually, I think they may have told me that there once was a “doll of the year” who was Jewish )

    12. get a grip people. its a doll that little girls love. just like brio wooden train set which is also ridiculously expensive and plenty jewish people buy that as well. why are you knocking down this doll more than all other crazy meshigasen out there?

    13. There is the “Gali Girl” doll, which is made in Israel. It is a little less expensive than the “American Girl” doll but it is made by Yidden.

    14. whats wrong with them? i personally wanted them when i was younger and i still think they are cute and entertaining!!!! if anybody has a problem with them……i don’t know them!!!!!

    15. everyone who was against this pure innocent doll that brings out the feminine touch in every single little girl who plays with it, i sure hope none of your children ever play with a game boy!! if we need to discuss harmful toys, that is one, not an innocent doll!!!

    16. She’s an innoccent, overpriced doll. There is no reason a piece of molded plastic, even with combable hair, should cost so much. They could manufacture a knock off in China for much less.

    17. Yes, the doll is expensive but how wonderful is it that all girls (and parents) who patronize American Girl (and this is no small number) will learn a little bit about Judaism and particularly Judaism in the 1914s! American Girl selected a Jewish theme for their immigrant doll (instead of Italian or other very possible varieties) and actually incorporated Jewish issues for girls like dealing with Christmas in public schools and having a birthday during Passover. Also perhaps if non-Jewish girls of today can identify with a Jewish doll, they will be more tolerant and more accepting of actual living Jewish people. Hats off to American Girl for putting a Jewish historical doll in their very small collection of historical dolls. I am grateful.

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