American Girl Explores Great American Melting Pot

New Character Shows Jewish American Life in Early 20th-Century New York City

Middleton, WI—May 31, 2009: This May, through the eyes of American Girl’s newest historical character Rebecca Rubin™, girls today can learn what growing up might have been like during the peak of America’s immigration period in 1914. Rebecca is a 9-year-old Jewish American girl who is growing up on New York City’s Lower East Side at a time when streams of immigrant families had landed at Ellis Island. As the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Rebecca is a first-generation American who sees a world of opportunity before her but who still struggles to blend her family’s time-honored traditions with the customs and expectations of a new country.

Available on May 31, 2009, Rebecca launches with six historical books that tell her compelling story; a beautiful, high-quality 18-inch Rebecca doll featuring curly dark brown hair with highlights and brown eyes; and an array of historically accurate and culturally authentic clothes and accessories that represent Rebecca’s heritage and time period.

“Rebecca’s stories capture the moment in American history when the Jewish experience becomes intertwined with key cultural developments happening in our country, such as the great American melting pot, the rise of the movie industry, and the labor movement—all of which reshaped the nation,” says Ellen L. Brothers, president of American Girl. “We’re proud to introduce Rebecca to our historical line and know girls will enjoy learning about her world and the far-reaching contributions immigrants made—and still make—to American society.”

Written by award-winning author Jacqueline Dembar Greene, Rebecca’s six-book series, Meet Rebecca, Rebecca and Ana, Candlelight for Rebecca, Rebecca and the Movies, Rebecca to the Rescue, and Changes for Rebecca, explores Rebecca’s struggles with finding her role in a changing world and with what it means to be American, while cherishing the deeply held traditions of her close-knit Jewish family. More than anything, Rebecca wants to do the right thing—for her family and for herself.

“Rebecca is a Jewish girl whose family customs and beliefs shape her in many ways,” says Ms. Greene. “She upholds the values of giving to others and improving life whenever you can. I hope that Rebecca will be a role model—and that, through her stories, girls will discover that doing one small thing in their own small world can make a world of difference for many.”

Rebecca joins American Girl’s family of historical characters growing up in important times in America’s past, from 1764 to 1974. The Rebecca doll, books, and accessories will be available on May 31, 2009 through a dedicated Rebecca catalogue, at, and at American Girl retail locations. To request a free American Girl catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.

About American Girl

American Girl Brands, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT,, the world’s leading toy company. Since American Girl’s inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005 or visit