What are the most popular bar mitzvah gifts?
Some popular gifts to give for a bar mitzvah are books, jewelry with Jewish symbols, electronics or experiences like swimming with dolphins. Think of the bar mitzvah gift as a birthday present for a really significant birthday. You want to give something special.
Is it okay to give cash for a bar mitzvah gift?
Yes. Cash is a great financial gift and is the most common gift to give for a bar mitzvah. Cash will be appreciated by the young person celebrating their bar mitzvah and the parents. You never have to worry about cash being returned because it wasn’t the right size or color.
How much cash should I give?
For bar mitzvahs most people give gifts of money in multiples of 18. The number 18 represents the Hebrew letters for chai (or life) and giving cash in multiples of 18 is symbolic of giving the gift of chia (life).
Typically, how much cash you should give depends on where the service or reception is being held and how close you are to the family. If you are a close family friend or the reception is being held at a fancy location, a gift of $108 is appropriate. Otherwise $54 is a safe amount to give.
Do not feel like your gift has to be $54, $108, or some other multiple of 18. If you want to give $75, then give $75. The young person receiving your gift and their family will be grateful for any gift you choose to give. Do not feel pressure to give more than you are able to give. It is the thought that counts, not the amount of the gift.
Should I give cash or a gift card?
Cash is the most common gift and parents usually deposit the money into their child’s college fund, but gift cards are also often given as a bar mitzvah gift. If you choose to give a gift card instead of cash, you could give a gift certificate to a local bookstore. You could purchase one of the following popular gift cards: Amazon, Gamestop, iTunes, Starbucks, Subway or movie theaters. Or you could make a basket of smaller denomination gift cards for iTunes, restaurants and movie theaters.
Etiquette for receiving a cash gift
Receiving cash as a gift requires the same etiquette as receiving any other gift. You should send a handwritten thank you note to the sender for your gift. It’s easier and faster to send an email, but some things are better with the personal touch.