Gifts are commonly given at nearly all Bar or Bat Mitzvah parties. Any gifts should be given at the reception party, and not the service. Finding the perfect gift or gifts for a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah is not a difficult task. While the style and nature of gift giving varies by community - there are a number of items that are quite customary to give on this special occasion.
- Money! (Every boy and girl's favorite present of all)
-It is common to present money to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah in multiples of $18. The number 18 is considered to be favorable in the Jewish tradition (the numbers 10 and 8 in Hebrew spell chai, which means life). Cash or savings bonds are the most ordinary present to give, so if you are OK with this, you need not read any further. For those who prefer to be more unique or just don't agree with giving money…I will propose a couple different ideas.
-With the introduction of popular E-readers, this practice might not continue on much longer. However, educational books or books relating to famous Jews or Judaism are customary in some communities.
- Religious Items
-Unless you are Jewish, its best to not try and purchase the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah any religious items as gifts. Many young men and women will also receive their first tallit from their parents to be used for this milestone. Tallit, kippot, tefillin, kiddush cup, candlesticks, tzedekah box - they are all gifts of significance to begin a new life as a Jewish adult.
- Bat Mitzvah Specific Gifts
-Jewelry is a very common gifts for girls at a Bat Mitzvah. Necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets - they all make great gifts for any Bat Mitzvah. Shabbat candlesticks are also commonplace Bat Mitzvah presents. It is a woman's honor and duty to light the candles and lead the blessing.
Same Gifts as any other 12 or 13 Year Old!
-If all else fails…purchase the same item or something similar as you would for any other non-Jewish child's birthday! Video games, clothing, and more are all perfectly reasonable Bat & Bar Mitzvah gifts - don't over think it!
- Charity ( Tzedakah )
-It can be a good idea to make a donation to the child's favorite charity in his or her name. It doesn't have to be a large amount (remember the multiples of 18).
You don't have to spend a fortune on a Bar Mitzvah gift - give what you can afford. Whatever you give, make it from the heart. Even if you are presenting money, make sure that the note card is personal and meaningful. Remember, if you are absolutely stuck - and none of these options interest you, just ask the child's friends, family, or anyone else he or she is close with. Whatever your gift is, it will undoubtedly be appreciated and help contribute to one of the most important days in any young man or woman's life.