18 answers

Bar Mitzvah Gift

We are going to our first Bar Mitzvah and not sure what an appropriate gift would be. We are thinking of money or a gift card but don't want to offend? Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.

1 mom found this helpful

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Thanks so much for everyone who responded. This is a great community and I am so glad I found this resource. We decided based on all the feedback to give money. Thank you again for all of your wonderful responses.

Featured Answers

Jewelry is a great option, you can look at different websites that cater to bat-mitzvah gifts. Try the following:

www.alefbet.com
www.popjudaica.com
www.traditionsjewishgifts.com
www.ajp.com
www.allthingsjewish.com

A.

1 mom found this helpful

Money is definately appropriate for a Bar Mitzvah. I would skip the gift card unless you know that he wants something specific from a specific store.
Have fun!

More Answers

Jewelry is a great option, you can look at different websites that cater to bat-mitzvah gifts. Try the following:

www.alefbet.com
www.popjudaica.com
www.traditionsjewishgifts.com
www.ajp.com
www.allthingsjewish.com

A.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear Y.,

Anything you think a 13-year-old would like as a gift would be appropriate. When my son had his Bar Mitzvah, he got everything! His favorite gifts were the books and the itunes gift cards, but those would be his favorite gifts at any birthday. If you want to make your gift even more meaningful, write a special note in his card. My son saved all of his special notes and he cherishes them.

Hope this helps,
S.

My nephew wanted us to give to a charitable cause in his name. So I set up an account with Heifer International in his name and sent it out to my family and friends. Donations can be accepted anywhere at any time.

No doubt my sister encouraged the donation idea, but he got to choose the cause.

Hope this helps.

Hi there, First off, any gift offered from the heart will not offend, so don't worry about it. I don't know your financial situation, but you're always safe with an American Express gift card. If it's a business associate you might want to err on the side of caution and do one for $50, or if you're comfortable $75. If it's just one of your son's going (his friend) you can do $25. Something else to consider. In Hebrew all letters have a numerical equilavent. The word for life is Chai, and the numberical value is 18. Often, at Jewish celebrations, people will give gifts that are multiples of 18, so ex $18, $36 etc.

I was always told to give money. Many of the parents I know use that money as part of their child's college fund, and who couldn't use help with that!

A very traditional Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift is money. Usally the money goes into a savings for the child and is used later on for first car or college. It is customary for the amount to be in incriments of "18". This is a very symbolic number in Judisam. Depending on how close you are with the family it could start as little as $36.00, $54.00, $72.00 or $108.00. Closer family and friends usally give more. $180.00 is also very common. You get the idea.

Have fun and Mazel Tov!

Y.,

I always hear about how much money is spent on these functions, so giving money is very appropriate.

Have fun,

V.

Y.,
As nice as gift cards and money is to a bar mitzvah boy, gifts are also very much appreciated. Alothough some young boys can not fully "get" the gift at 13, they will get it later. Buying a piece of Judaica (like a mezuzzah, or a menorah, or a kiddush cup), a piece of jewelry (my nephews each got a masculine ring with their names inscribed in Hebrew) or a nice watch (my husband couldn't wear his until he got older, but he wore that watch until it was stolen), my sister often gets the child a swiss army knife (which you use your entire life). The point is, depending on how well you know the child, you can either get him "just a gift" - that will be spent or put in his account, or a memory for a lifetime - something that everytime he will use or see it, he'll think of you. Either is nice and appropriate. And, to answer Val's response - the majority of families DO NOT use the money received by the b'nai mitzvah child to PAY for the parties they threw to celebrate; the money belongs to the child.
J.

Y.,
Those ideas are perfect. Money is actually a traditional Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift. Have a good time at the Bar Mitzvah.

Money is definately appropriate for a Bar Mitzvah. I would skip the gift card unless you know that he wants something specific from a specific store.
Have fun!

Hi Y.,

I am Jewish and can tell you that monetary gifts are acceptable. The proper thing to do is to give in increments of $18 (ie 18, 36, etc. 18 is the number that symbolizes Life.. the most important thing in Judaism (ie L'Chaim! meaning "to life!). You are going to have a blast! Make sure to get out on the dance floor and join in the Hora!

Money is the best way to go especially at this age.

Have fun!

T. H

I don't think anyone would be offended by any gift you choose. Money is always appreciated. 18 is considered a lucky number in Judaism so many people give monetary gifts in denominations of 18 such as $18, $36, $54, etc. Certainly give whatever you want to. Anyone offended by your generosity would be ridiculous!

I think money or a savings bond are best. From my Bat Mitzvah, I most appreciated that instead of jewelry or other stuff. Savings bonds are great because they give the person $$$ 10 years later, like enforced savings. :)

Give the gift of choice. Gift albums are the perfect gift. Choose from 19 different gift albums. The recipent chooses from about 20 different name brand gifts. So take the hassel and stress out of trying to find the perfect gift. Check them out at www.lwoods.ordermygift.com

Y., I would definately give money. My really good friends had a rule for their son at his Bar Mitzvah that any money he received in cash he was able to spend and any checks he received went into his savings account. I loved the idea and in fact made the same agreements for my daughters for graduation and birthdays. In addition, boys at that age love video games so a gift card to Best Buy or a game store would also be good.

I would go with either money or a gift card, though a gift card is a little more "personal." Kids at that age are so particular about what they want. I'd get a gift card to a place that sells a wide variety of things, such as Amazon. If you know the kid well, you can get a gift card/certificate to a place that you know will interest him. For example, if he's an avid reader, then a gift card to Barnes and Noble would be appropriate. Or if he's into sports, a gift card to his favorite sports store would be good. I personally give gift cards to Amazon for Bar Mitzvahs, confirmations, and First Communions. I usually get a card in the $20-$25 range, which is enough to buy a couple of nice books or more than one CD or movie.

Money is a good gift for a bar mitzvah. Many parents will allow their children to spend some of the money they get for their bar mitzvahs and have them put the rest away. My husband used some of his bar mitzvah money to travel in Europe when he was in college. I saw many people already gave you the tip about the "chai" denominations. Hope you enjoy the bar mitzvah!

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