It's American Girl History Unit time again! This week we are getting a glimpse at my own heritage with young Jewish girl, Rebecca. My great-grandfather was a Jewish immigrant who came to this country to find his own "American dream". Although I did not grow up practicing any Jewish traditions, I have determined to incorporate some of this heritage into our celebrations. Reading Rebecca and her Jewish decent is a nice introduction to that culture.
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The only doll of Jewish descent, Rebecca brings a unique cultural and religious viewpoint to this era of American History. Consider how her immigrant story is different than Kirsten's and how they are similar.
- Whereas Samantha lived in a big house in the tree lined suburbs around New York City, Rebecca and her family lived in a small apartment in downtown. Mark New York City on the map if you haven’t yet.
- Find 1914 on the Timeline, as well as 1904, the year Rebecca was born. Check out the internet to find other events happening in America at about that time. The most significant of these for Rebecca and her family would have been the beginning of World War I overseas. America was still only talking about entering the war.
- Choose a craft to work on while you’re studying Rebecca. Consider making a Tzedakah Box. This is something like a bank used by Jewish families to collect money for the needy.
- Research life in Russia during the Early 20th century.
- Rebecca’s uncle is an actor in the brand new movie industry. Check your library or DVD rental store for a movie from the early 1900s. Look for The New Wizard of Oz, which was the prequel to traditional version.
- Explore Jewish Kosher laws and holidays. Create a traditional meal to one Rebecca’s family might have enjoyed for your family.
More American Girl History Units to Explore
Susan Mathis has homeschooled her three children and 15 American Doll “grandchidlren” for more than 15 years. She also writes for her husband's blog, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Holiness.