Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gifts
Bar and Bat Mitzvahs mark special milestones in young Jewish people’s lives and a thoughtful gift helps recognize these important occasions. But before we get ahead of ourselves: What is a bat mitzvah? And how is it different from a bar mitzvah? Understanding what these occasions are and what makes them special will help you pick the right gift for the honoree. Let’s dive in!
What is Bar Mitzvah? What is a Bat Mitzvah?
If you’ve been invited to a bar or bat mitzvah but have no idea what they are, don’t worry! Not everyone is familiar with these occasions. Check out these bat and bar mitzvah facts to learn more:
- Bar mitzvah is Hebrew for “son of commandment” and is a Jewish ritual and celebration that marks when a boy reaches spiritual adulthood at age 13.
- Bat mitzvah is Hebrew for “daughter of commandment” and is a similar celebration that commemorates when a girl takes her place in the Jewish community at age 12 or 13.
- The ceremony usually takes place at a synagogue during a Saturday morning Torah reading that follows the child’s birthday.
- The Torah, the first part of the Jewish Bible, is typically read in traditional Hebrew by the child during the ceremony.
- A d‘var Torah is a short speech given by the child after the Torah reading. The speech is an opportunity for the child to share their beliefs and thank their parents and other mentors.
- A seudat mitzvah or “festive meal” takes place after the ceremony. This is a time for celebration! Family and friends will gather in an event space for great food, music, and lots of dancing!
Bat & Bar Mitzvah Gifts
Now that you have a better understanding of what happens at a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, let’s take a look at some thoughtful gift ideas for these special occasions.
- Money or savings bonds are traditional gifts for bar and bat mitzvahs. These gifts are often given in increments of $18, which represents a favorable number in Jewish tradition.
- Judaica, or Jewish gifts, are also traditional presents for these occasions. Gifts like menorahs, Shabbat candles and candlesticks, and the Tallit (or prayer shawl) are meant to encourage and help children continue to practice Jewish traditions throughout their lives.
- Digital greeting cards with personalized bar or bat mitzvah wishes and a digital gift card will be greatly appreciated by the recipient. Digital bat mitzvah cards and online bar mitzvah cards can even be customized with a short video message and sent right from your phone.
- Jewelry is a classic bar/bat mitzvah gift. A necklace with a pendant of the Star of David (the Jewish star) or Hamsa (a symbol of good luck) are meaningful gifts for a boy or girl. Cufflinks, charm bracelets, and rings can also be thoughtful, symbolic gifts.
- Video Keepsakes make excellent gifts for these special occasions. Bat or bar mitzvah videos help preserve messages of love and support and create a personalized digital keepsake of an important milestone.
If you’re attending the celebration and want to capture different aspects of the event, you can create a bar or bat mitzvah video the day of! Guests can create video clips throughout the event with their well wishes and congrats for the child. These video clips can easily be combined with other special moments you record throughout the day, like the Torah reading and all that dancing! Once the bat or bar mitzvah video montage is done, share it with the recipient for a memorable gift that captures precious memories of the celebration.
Alternatively, before the event, have attendees and those that can’t attend record special messages of congrats and support. Once the video clips are combined, share the final group video at the party as a surprise for the child, who will be so excited to see friends and family share their messages of love. We’ve seen family members make wonderful Memento video gifts with messages from celebrities, long-distance friends and family members, and close friends and family that they can keep and return to year after year.
A bar or bat mitzvah gift helps mark and celebrate an important rite of passage in a Jewish child’s life. We hope these ideas will help you choose the perfect gift for such a momentous occasion!