But knowing how and what to gift poses its own challenge. We've tried to lay it all out for you in a simple way so you can just show up and enjoy the party, with the perfect gift in hand, of course.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah boy or girl will love receiving money. They just won't like the part where their parents take most of it away to put into a savings account for future use.
If you're giving cash or check, the most common rule in Jewish gifting is to gift in multiples of $18. In numerology, 18 is Chai (no, not the delicious tea latte), Hebrew for life. Giving money in multiples of $18 is symbolic of giving “chai” or life. So if you were going to give $50, give $54. If you were going to gift $100, make it $108 instead.
That's where the rules end, and the rest is highly dependent on how close you are to the boy or girl celebrating and how many people are invited; please use the below as rough guidelines, and give what you're comfortable giving:
- A child attending a friend’s bar mitzvah will likely give anywhere from 2x-4x chai, for a maximum of $72 (and that's considered generous). $72 is also symbolic because it represents 4 Life. For a very close friend, the range is closer to $54-$108.
- A family will likely start the gifting where the individual spectrum ends, with $72 on the low end (perhaps if only attending the service) and up from there. In some metropolitan areas, family gifts reach $360-$540 for very close friends. But on average, most families will give in the range of $108-$180, and, for close friends, around $252. A more rounded number of course will never be turned away.
Giving gifts of Israel bonds is a special way to celebrate meaningful occasions.
Israel Bonds support Israel and can be redeemed in five years.
Mazel Tov Bonds, a special all-occasion gift available for an initial minimum investment of $100 can be purchased online.
E-Mitzvah bonds can be purchased for a minimum of $36.
Visit the Israel Bonds website to learn more.
There are some people who, especially for close friends, will prefer to give a personal gift, as opposed to cash or even an Israel bond (my son may now have voting shares in the future of the State of Israel based on his current portfolio).
The advantage of a personal gift is that its perceived value is oftentimes higher than the actual value, with consideration given to the thought and the time taken, providing the gift-giver additional wiggle room in terms of spend.
Judaica. A beautiful yad (torah pointer) is a unique gift they will use for life. We also love giving this Tallit Bag, which is non-leather and can be used year round. A Mezuzah is also very special, and can be engraved with a custom saying or name. This acrylic one comes in a multitude of colors! We also love the idea of giving a girl her first Star of David Necklace, and we are in love with this one. We recently gave this menorah as a Bat Mitzvah gift, it’s stunning and timeless.
Hebrew Jewelry. A necklace with their Hebrew name engraved is something they’ll wear for years. We also love this Hebrew necklace that says Ahava (Love in Hebrew). It is delicate and dainty enough to layer with other necklaces. If you’re seeking a bracelet that’s modern and meaningful, these Everything Is Possible and Woman of Valor bracelets are the perfect pieces.
Amulets. An amulet is an object, often a charm or piece of jewelry, that is believed to possess certain magical powers of protection. The Hamsa and Evil Eye are two powerful amulets that represent protection and strength. This cz Hamsa necklace and this slightly more delicate one (has tiny diamonds) are a great gift for the girl who has it all. We also love the detail on this evil eye necklace.
Gift Within a Gift. We love providing something special that contains another surprise gift inside. For a Bat Mitzvah girl, this most often will take on the form of a jewelry box that contains a piece of jewelry inside. For a boy, cuff links in a box, or a Shabbat set.
A Gift AND a Check are also more than appropriate, so don’t think you need to find the perfect gift at the perfect price point.
We are excited to package these items for you through JEW-ishly to make the process easy and assist you in gifting in a meaningful and memorable way. Either select one of the pre-packaged gifts we have available, or contact us to create your own. And remember, we can source and customize (almost) anything with advance notice. Because gift giving shouldn’t be stressful, think of us as your Jew-ish gift concierge.