Bubbie Barbie?

September 1, 2023
Remy Walker

New Rochelle, NY, United States

Class of 2025

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Ever since it premiered, the Barbie movie has captured the attention of the whole world, filling the streets with pink. But Barbie has a surprising history that not many people know about - Barbie is Jewish! 

The creator of the Barbie doll, Ruth Handler, was born in Denver on November 16, 1916 to two Polish Jewish immigrants. She met her husband, Elliot, at a B’nai B’rith dance when she was 16. The couple moved to Los Angeles by 1938 and started producing toys for Hollywood productions. In 1945, the two teamed up with Matt Matson and created the company Mattel, which is Matt and Elliot’s names combined. 

Ruth Handler came up with Barbie when she saw her daughter, Barbara, playing with paper dolls and wanted to make an adult doll for children. This was just the start of the incredible franchise that Barbie is today. Barbie, being named after Barbara, also prompted Ruth to name Ken after her son Kenneth. 

When Ruth and Elliot met at the B’nai B’rith dance, AZA had been adopted by B’nai B’rith, which means Elliot could be an AZA alumni! It’s crazy to think that a Jewish organization is the reason that Barbie exists, having brought Ruth and Elliot together back in 1932. While we aren’t 100% sure on whether Elliot or Ruth were part of BBYO, there is a possibility their children were. Who knows, maybe a BBG Barbie doll is in the making! What do you think?

Remy is a BBG from Hudson Valley Region and loves BBYO!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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