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October 31, 2011
A Customized Guest Book for your Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration
November 24, 2011

The all important 3 M’s of Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts

When we BM parents were growing up, a very common bar or Bat Mitzvah present was a fountain pen. Hence the joke went, when the bar mitzvah boy got up to speak to the synagogue, he would say, “Today I am a fountain pen.”  But times have changed, and perhaps the line can be adapted to read “today I am an ipod”.  Bar Mitzvah presents fall into 3 general categories – we like to call it the 3 M’s: Money, Meaningful, and “Much Appreciated”.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts

Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts

Money Bar Mitzvah Gifts

You can never go wrong with money presents, in Jewish tradition if you’re going to give money, a meaningful number is 18 because in Hebrew it has the same numerical value as the word Chai,meaning “ life”.  People often give Jewish money gifts in multiples of 18 – $36, $54, $90.  Included in the money category is gift certificates which can also be in multiples of 18.    Most adults give money as a gift. Children, when invited separately, will usually buy a present that they feel their friend would like. Family members usually give bigger amounts of money than casual friends.  It is wise to place the cash in a birthday card and present it when entering the party room or hall. If there is a welcoming line with family and the birthday boy or girl you can give it then, if not, there should be a table or basket set up for gifts. Give all gifts at the reception, not at the Temple/synagogue/shul.

Money Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts

Money Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts

Meaningful Bar Mitzvah Gifts

Since the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is really a celebration of Jewish adulthood, some people choose to give gifts connected to the landmark moment.  Judaica is a nice option – for you can get a nice kiddish cup for boys or candle sticks for girls. If the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is close to a festival you can get Judaica connected to the festival like Machzorim prayer books for the high holy days or a menorah at Chanukah time.  Jewelry is a wonderful gift, and can be meaningful for boys and for girls.  Alef Bet Jewelry has a Bat Mitzvah line which is worth looking at Jewelry Designer Emily Rosenfeld told us that Bar and Bat Mitzvah favorites are Yads, Key Chains and Panels.  She has a new boys jewelry line which is popular also . Jewish related books are also popular meaningful gifts.

Meaningful Bat Mitzvah gifts

Meaningful Bat Mitzvah gifts (from AlefBet Jewerly - voucher below :)

“Much Appreciated” Bar Mitzvah Gifts

If you just want to go with someone fun that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child will definitely appreciate, then you may want to go for games – computer, electronic, sports equipment, camping gear, something hobby related or vouchers to popular stores.  It is a good idea to enclose a exchange receipt.


"Much Appreciated" Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts

"Much Appreciated" Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts


Our readers suggest:

Some of our readers have shared some more fantastic ideas.

Debbie L – Great “Much Appreciated” gifts can be match/concert/season tickets

Joanne – iTunes gift cards were the easiest to use quickly, gender neutral, and fun. (Joanne also runs a wonderful Bar/Bat Mitzvah service making cool kippot – check it out

Clara – One family bought my oldest son a Kodak Playsport waterproof video camera. That was a hit!

Dalit – My son was very excited about some of the Jewish books that he received for his bar mitzvah.

Sarah – Money, money and money. We live in Israel and that is what you give. Mind you, I have seen people give camping equipment which is also very popular. I particularly love those little gas things that you can scramble eggs on and make hot water on.

Ilana – I have bought a few Bat Mitzvah girls identity necklaces or bracelets!

Miriam – Best present my daughter received for her Batmitzvah was a huge rucksack/camping backpack which she takes on all her school.

Ester – My son got a huge backpack and a water bottle backpack too. Those have been very handy. But we also really like the books and book store gift cards, and of course, the cash. Best of all was a new computer!

Janice – My nephew got so many rucksacks and camping equipment he thought people were trying to tell him something!

Gillian Kay – It’s a good idea to make a book list, so he/she gets the books he/she wants, not 10 of the same. Gift cards for shops like Fox and Gap go down well.

Debbie B – I have a friend whose daughter was an avid reader, so three of her friends got together, pooled their money and got her an e-reader with a very large gift card and a list of all of the classics that she should load onto it. Clever, right?

The nice people from Ultimate Affair Weddings told us – The new Sony camera , with a few photo albums, Kinda pricey gift but I have seen that a few times in the last few months. Thumb Drives is another one. Journals, Mont Blanc Pen Set, Waterman Pens.

And now – a gift to you:

Check out this surprise for you from AlefBet Jewelry They told us “We have jewelry! Use coupon happyholidays2011 and take 15% off entire order!”

Do you have any more great Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift suggestions? Please tell us in the comment box below.


  1. […] post: The all important 3 M's of Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts | Your Jewish Speech This entry was posted in Jewish Gifts and tagged all-important, mitzvah. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  2. Take a look at my website,, for your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration. Each gift is 3 gifts in one – a percentage of the gift goes to (1) their college fund, (2) a charity of their choice, and (3) a visa gift card. It’s the perfect gift!

  3. There are some interesting ideas here. I’d like to add one of my own. I make Customized Bar/Bat Mitzvah albums with papercut illustrations of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrant and all their favourite hobbies, activities, pets, favourite team etc. on the front. They can be used at the Simcha for everyone to write in or as a keepsake album for photos afterwards. They always seem to well received (both here in Israel and abroad). The kids love seeing their papercut ‘portraits’ on the cover:

  4. Thanks for the great article! I love this site! If you want to save 15% off your holiday and bar/bat mitzvah order just use “happyholidays2011” as the coupon code.
    To many happy and wonderful simchas!

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