In response to Lilith’s call for 40 Jewish Feminist Objects [Fall, 2016], Jen Taylor Friedman created the Intersectional Barbie Dream Minyan. We loved it so much we decided to give this dream minyan it’s own article in this issue. On Facebook, Friedman wrote:
Maybe some of them are Sephardic and some are Maghrebi and one is an adult convert and one was adopted and converted as a child. One of them has blue hair. One of them has red hair, and one of them has red highlights. Nobody in this minyan ever says “But where are you really from?” or “But surely you weren’t born Jewish.” Some of them are what Mattel calls “curvy.” Some of them are short.
One of the Barbies has a white cane and dark glasses. You can’t see her Braille siddur in the picture. She doesn’t need it right now anyway because they’re about to do hagbah. Another of the Barbies is sitting down because she has mobility issues and chronic pain. Another one has depression, and another one has hearing issues, but you can’t tell which ones.
Two of the Barbies are married to each other. One of the Barbies is trans.
One of the Barbies couldn’t afford a set of tefillin for herself, and the community helped out. Some of these Barbies didn’t go to college, or were the first in their families to go to college. One of them works in construction.
All the Barbies are deeply conscious that they’re all awfully young. The artist has not the skill to repaint Barbie faces to make them look older, nor to make their hair grey.
In principle, Kens are welcome in this minyan, but today they’re outside fixing breakfast, which is why you can’t see them.