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Step onto the stage and let your heart take the lead: Rebecca’s story

Rebecca in New York City, NY

Real-life drama

As a first-generation American living in New York City, Rebecca is excited when she learns her cousin’s family hopes to migrate from Russia, too. But the voyage will be dangerous—and expensive. Can Rebecca’s secret plan to raise money help smooth rough waters and aid her relatives' escape from Russia?


A true star

Rebecca visits a motion picture studio with her cousin Max, and is offered the chance to be in front of the camera. Now she must decide whether to take this big break, or follow her parents’ wishes and close the curtain on her dreams.

Girl reading Rebecca book

Guidance for girls today

By exemplifying the Jewish tradition of helping others, Rebecca plays a positive role in others’ lives with qualities every girl can aspire to:

Integrity. By backing up her beliefs with actions, Rebecca meets life’s challenges boldly and inspires girls today to act on their principles.

Compassion. Rebecca’s decision to share the stage with her cousin during a school performance proves that one simple act of kindness makes a big difference to someone else.

Chutzpah. This Yiddish word loosely translates as "confidence," something Rebecca displays when she speaks up about poor working conditions at a local sweatshop.

Watch why character matters

Creating a hero: Rebecca comes to life

“The story of Rebecca is a marvelous introduction to the Jewish immigrant experience. In Rebecca’s ‘own words,’ this American girl sounds a clear, pure note in the orchestra of American cultures and traditions.”

—Rabbi David Wolpe, author, speaker, and head rabbi of Sinai Temple



Authentic from the start

The Rebecca series highlights America’s melting pot—a period when millions of immigrants came to this country to start a new life. 

To capture the lively details of Rebecca’s story, we collaborated with experts in American Jewish history and American immigration. They described the living conditions in the New York boroughs at the turn of the 20th century and the cultural struggles Jewish families encountered while acclimating to life in America.

In addition, we selected historical novelist Jacqueline Dembar Greene to write Rebecca’s stories. Greene visited Ellis Island, New York museums, and a synagogue to help build Rebecca’s background. To supplement her research, she watched documentaries and read more than 100 books. Inspired by what she learned, Greene even named characters after ones she saw for Russian immigrants in old census lists. Together, this research blended into a world realistically rendered for girls today to enter and explore.

Putting it all into play

Awesome story

“Not only is this doll beautiful; she comes with a significant story of historical value. I love that all the dolls have strong, positive characteristics. The fact that Rebecca celebrates her Jewish heritage, especially during these troubling times of increased anti-Semitism, is very important.”

American Girl Customer


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