The Surprising Jewish Roots of Barbie

barbie puppy partyI originally knew Barbie as a doll, a franchise, an iconic figure in many childhoods, and a career woman who wore many hats, both literally and figuratively. It wasn’t until I was tapped by the kids’ comics publisher Papercutz and Mattel to write a Barbie graphic novel that I learned about her Jewish beginnings.

Researching the history of the character while brainstorming, I found many lesser-known facts about her I could relate to. Barbie was originally created by Ruth Handler, a Jewish woman whose parents left Poland for America because of anti-Semitism, just as my family left the Pale of Settlement to escape from pogroms.