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The Best Gifts for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Have you been invited to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and don’t know what gift to give? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a very special occasion in Jewish culture, so of course, you want to get just the right gift. It is an occasion which is a mix between a once in a lifetime event in the life of a boy plus a big party and chance to celebrate.

It may help you make your decision by learning exactly what it is that’s being celebrated. When Jewish boys reach the age of 13, they become accountable for their actions which signifies their transition into manhood. This is an important rite of passage for Jewish boys and centers around the religious ceremony. However, some type of party or celebration is almost always included. Following tradition, family members and close family friends give a gift at the time of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Gifts can be very traditional in nature or can be less traditional and more modern.

  1. Books

Books that represent the Jewish experience and that bring the realities of the world to light are a popular gift at a Bar Mitzvah. Even though reality may be harsh, books that highlight show these aspects are seen as part of becoming an adult.

Examples are:

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

“DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Jerusalem, Israel, Petra & Sinai” by DK Publishing

“The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe: A Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic”

And for pure fun you can try these:

“Big Book of Jewish Humor” by William Novak and Moshe Waldoks

“Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor & What It All Means” by Michael Krasny

“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

  1. Money & Bonds

The Hebrew letters for the word life are “chai” which are numerically equivalent to 18. So checks given at a Bar Mitzvah are traditionally written out in $18 increments, although most young men would be happy to accept checks, whatever the amount! But it is fun to pay homage to that special tradition.

Another fun and very practical gift is Israel Bonds’ Mazel Tov Bonds and eMitzvah Bonds. These bonds support the Jewish state and can be redeemed in five years, right about the time the young man is getting ready to start college.

  1. Statement Jewelry

Believe it or not, many young men will appreciate the gift of a piece for jewelry that represents the Jewish experience. And there are many to choose from. Try a necklace with the “chai” symbol, which means life in Hebrew, a bracelet or keychain with their Hebrew name engraved or a Star of David pendant.

When you think of a bar mitzvah you begin to realize how this important spiritual rite of passage is really a connection between generations. So don’t get too caught up in the gift itself since most Jewish kids understand that their gift is the party! Relax, give from the heart, and join in the celebration with all your best.

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