For generations, Barbie's hourglass "perfect" figure has confounded experts in anatomy, while giving girls a role model of debatable merit.
Now there's a doll whose appearance is more modest, who looks like kids and whose values are distinctly Jewish.
Created by Aliza Stein of Teaneck, N.J., Gali Girls wear clothes that are not made to accentuate their bodies. Accessories include a matching Magen David bracelet for the owner and the doll, a Hebrew and English birth certificate and a separate wooden Shabbat kit that can be painted.
Gali Girls are designed to encourage girls to bring positive Jewish values, such as kindness, respect, and charity, into their doll play, Stein said.
Jewelry artist Gail Goldin grew up immersed in Jewish culture and scrap metal, a combination that helped inspire her Modern Myths collection.
She comes by this unusual convergence of influences through her father, Steven Goldin, a freedom fighter in Poland who helped fellow Jews escape over the Alps during World War II, before building his own business in the U.S. scrap-metal industry. The family belonged to an Orthodox shul in Detroit, although they weren't Orthodox.
When Goldin put this all together -- stirring in some life experience and a fascination with universal spiritual symbols from world cultures -- she first made silver rings adorned with carved Asian good-luck beads called netsukes. Out of these rings came the idea for her Modern Myths collection. Several Modern Myths pieces combine stones with beads, mounted in ornate bezel designed silver.