Gifts for Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Updated on August 23, 2010
Y.P. asks from Moraga, CA
9 answers

Hi Mamas,

My family is Christian, and we have been invited to a friend's Bar and Bat Mitzvah (13 year old twins.). We have never attended either, and are looking forward to going. What goes on at these events? Are gifts expected, and if so, what kind of gift would be appropriate?


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answers from Pittsburgh on

Cash is always good. Traditionally, in sums of 18. For instance you might give $36 to each. Chai is is the symbol of life and the two letters in the Hebrew alphabet that comprise the word total 18. The Het amounts to 8 and the yud has amounts to 10. You could also give something that interests the children. Maybe they have a charity their family supports?
Anything you might give for a birthday present, would also be appropriate.

Back in the day, I remember receiving cash, savings bonds, donations to a charity in my name, and someone planted trees in Israel in my name. I also got a popcorn maker which I took to college with me eventually.

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answers from Redding on

Yep, cash is usually the gift but I like the gift card to Border's idea and cansee that going over just fine in any Jewish household.

There will be a religious ceremony on a Sat. morning that usually starts at 10 am and goes until about 12:30 at our temple. Then there will be snacks afterward and a prayer over bread and wine that will seem something like communion to you but it isn't.

Then in the evening there will be a reception somewhere. It will be similar to a wedding reception. There will be dancing, a meal provided and at some point the Bar or Bat Mitzvah will be lifted onto a chair and others will dance around them. Don't be afraid to join in the chair holding, although typically the men do this, or the dancing.

I agree that it is an honor to have been invited. If you have boys or men coming in your family, please ask them to wear a yarmulke which will be provided near the door where you walk in.

Dress at the religious ceremony is modest so no short skirts or tons of cleavage but anything else you would wear to a wedding should be fine.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hello YP, They are a celebration of life and happiness and the introduction into adulthood. As wih any specail celebration a gift is expected. It can be as simple as cash for each child, or something personal that they might enjoy. Do they have hobbies? So journals or books of rememberance,sscrap book pages are good. We usually get something for them to do thier genelogy with. I know that Heavelny Father in the bible has stressed that we all know our family roots and where we come from. It is a great popular thing to do today.
There will be music, dance, singing, laughter, toasts, prayers, and lots of happiness and love. I have been only to a few but have sweet memories of the event becasue of the people involved. It isn't something that is a missionary moment for converting you to their faith, nor you to theirs it is a time to show respect and be reminded what all the Old Testament is about.
Have a wonderful time.

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answers from Austin on

This mom just asked this yesterday, check it out, Usually it is cash that is the most Traditional Gift. .

It is an considered an honor to have been invited.

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answers from San Francisco on

money is the accepted and preferred gift.

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answers from Houston on

Just to quote a Seinfeld episode....Boggle......sorry, I couldnt resist!!!


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answers from San Francisco on

When my daughter went to a Bat Mitzvah last summer, I asked the young lady what she would like as a gift. She wanted a gift card to Borders Books (I actually knew this ahead of time.) If you know the family well, it never hurts to ask and yes, cash is always good.

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answers from San Francisco on

We attended a bar Mitzvah and we gave cash.

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answers from Erie on

Yup, cash. Typically it is put aside for college or invested.

1 mom found this helpful
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