What Is a Good Present for a Girl Bat Mitzvahs?

Updated on August 23, 2010
K.J. asks from Bedminster, NJ
12 answers

We are invited to a 11 year old girls' Bat Mitzvah party. This is the first time we are invited to a celebration like this and I don't know if we should do/get something special or should we bring a present as we would do to a birthday party?
Is it acceptable if I wear dress pants? I don't have any formal dress.
We aren't very close to the mom to ask them directly, so any help would be great.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all.
My husband's fraternity brother invited us. They haven't seen each other in while and every time I told my husband to ask his friend these questions, he comes back and tells me his friend said not to worry.
He could have the age of his friend's daughter wrong, is age an important fact in a Bat Mitzvahs?
Update: Thank you again, I decided to buy a formal dress for the occasion, I am more of a tomboy but I could really use something for other occasions as well. Also thank you for letting me know about the $18 denominations for a gift.

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answers from New York on

Hi K.

The usual gift for this occasion is money. You usually put money in a money card. The amount of money us usually Chai or $18. Some people put in more than this but in a multiple of 18 like 36 or 72. If you want you can just give $25 or whatever you feel is appropriate for the child (how well do you know the child and the family).

The dress pants can be worn to the party. Just wear a dressy blouse and dress the outfit up with jewelry. If you are invited to the religious ceremony before the party, pants of any kind are usually not acceptable for a lady. I know all of this as I am Jewish and have gone to many of these occasions.

Have fun at this party.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

If you'd rather get a gift rather than give cash, a piece of jewelry that she can grow into is always nice. I still have and wear a lot of my bat mitzvah jewelry. She's likely going to get a lot of Jewish stuff from family, so don't feel that you have to go out of your way to give her anything religious.

Dress as you would for a wedding. If it's a lunch party, dress pants are fine. If it's in the evening, in a hotel or something, you should probably buy a dress, or be okay with the fact that you'll be among the more casually dressed.

She's probably on the 13 side of twelve, if it makes a difference for your gift : ) Traditionally boys were the only ones bar mitzvah'ed, and that was at 13. Girls now are sometimes a little younger, but normally right around 13. Have fun!

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answers from Dallas on

It really depends on the community you live in what is the "norm." Dress pants sound just fine but I would have my shoulders covered just in case this is a thing at their synagogue..........a sweater over spaghetti straps for example...if you are attending the service. If the party is not at the synagogue than anything is fine.

Gifts vary and I think it depends on whether you are invited, just the child is invited and in regard to how well you know the family. A check could range from $18 to $250 depending on all this. The number 18 is significant. So if you wanted you could give $36 or $54 for example, but as suggested before $50 is a very nice gift and sounds appropriate in your circumstance. But there is nothing written and you could give an itune card, etc... A pretty piece of jewelry is nice too. Since you don't know this girl very well I would lean toward $$.

Some communities Bat Mitzvah girls at 12. I am guessing this girl is about to have a birthday. No worries on the age.

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answers from New York on

Defenetily NO PANTS a dress to your knee will be fine no shorter. Yes you bring an envelope with a check. the increments are done in $18.00's for example 36, 54, 72 .... card shops sell cards ( Bat Mitzvah) in form of envelopes

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answers from New York on

Usually girls have their Bat Mitzvah at age 12 and boys at age 13. I've never heard of 11. In any case, it's fine to wear dress pants if it's a day time event. If it's evening, find out if it's formal. You may want to invest in a little black dress! As for a present, many people give checks...often in denominations of "chai" which is the Hebrew for "18" which is supposed to be good luck. So, if you don't know them well, you can give her $36. If your whole family is invited, I'd give more like $54 or higher. It's not only customary to give a gift, but expected and appropriate -- they are paying for YOU to have a good time, too! Enjoy!

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answers from New York on

My daughter JUST became Bat Mitzvah in June! How wonderful for your husband's "brother's" daughter. It is likely she will just have turned or just be turning 12 as that is the age girls become Bat Mitzvah. Its not a religious rule just an acknowledgement of differing maturity levels. If you are at all interested in finding out what to expect at the synagogue, my daughter and I wrote a piece on what to expect. Please keep in mind that it was written based on our synagogue customs-we attend an egalitarian Conservative synagogue. It is not likely that this is an Orthodox Jewish situation as girls just don't really have much of a ceremony or participation in Orthodox Sabbath services. So what we wrote may prove helpful to a large extent. Gifts are usually cash or check. The amount $18 and multiples is significant because in Hebrew the letters are also the numbers. So the letters that total 18 (choff and yud) also make up the word "life" as in L'Chaim! (To Life!) So by giving 18 or 18x, you are wishing [long] life to the recipient! Enjoy being a part of this significant life event!

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answers from Austin on

Cash is always the Traditional gift. $50.

Are you going to the Ceremony and then the party or just the Ceremony?

If you are going to the ceremony, dress exactly as you would Sunday morning church. If you are going to the reception and it is in the evening, you can dress up a little more like a party. Pants are fine if they are not jean cut of course.

Have fun! It is considered a great honor to be invited.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

11? Bat Mitzvah is typically 13. Either way, usually people give cash. Some people might wear dress pants and a dressy top. Really it depends on where the party is. If it's a community center type thing or in the party room of the synagogue or a restaurant party in the afternoon, then dress pants are fine (unless it's an Orthodox synogogue, where women would not wear slacks at all). Some Bar and Bat Mitzvah's are in very fancy places and are like a wedding in terms of being elaborate. If it's a Saturday night party at a fancy place, then you might needs to get yourself a dress.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you would like to give something besides money, you could visit your local Jewish Community Center. They typically have wonderful gift shops, and you could tell the salesperson the price range you would like to spend, and that person should give you some excellent ideas (usually jewelry).

Have fun - it's is truly a very exciting and uplifting occasion!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

If you are only going to the party, dress pants are fine. If you are going to
the ceremony itself, I would dress up a bit more.

As far as a gift, usually it is money. However, I think a small piece of
silver jewelry would work also.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Went to quite a few Bar and Bat Mitzvah's back in middle school. Cash was the traditional gift.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


I went to many a Bat Mitzvah in my time, and yes, you must definitely bring a present. It almost follows the etiquette of a wedding where your gift (check) should cover the cost of your plate. Please, please, please wear a dress. I remember the one time I wore a very dressy pants outfit and I was extremely under-dressed. I ended up leaving early just because I felt so out of place - that part is on me, but I would have felt much better wearing a dress!!

Have fun and get ready for a night of extravagance!

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