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How Much To Give For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Gift Amount in 2024?

How Much to Gift for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Expert Tips Inside!

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How Much To Give For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Gift Amount

Are you wondering how much to give for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah gift in 2024? Many people find themselves puzzled about the appropriate Bar or Bat Mitzvah gift amount and gift etiquette.

Whether it’s your first time attending one of these significant Jewish rites of passage or you’re a seasoned guest, the questions abound:

How much to give for Bar Mitzvah amount is appropriate?
How much to give for a Bat Mitzvah? What’s the Bat Mitzvah gift etiquette?
Are there alternative gift options?

Are you attending a bar or bat mitzvah soon and unsure of what to give as a gift?

Essentials of Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gifting: Tradition Meets Personal Touch

Choosing the right gift for a bar or bat mitzvah intertwines respect for tradition with a personal touch. Central to this celebration is the practice of giving in multiples of $18 symbolizing chai or life, a gesture that weaves blessings into your gift. We will cover that more in a bit.

Yet, determining the gift’s value hinges on your relationship to the celebrant and personal budget.

First, let’s start with the basics.

How Much Money Do You Give For a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Gift Amount in 2024?

GuestBar and Bat Mitzvah
Gift of Cash
Multiples of 18
Friends and Classmates$35 to $75$36, $54, or $72
Close Friends$50 to $100$54, $72, $90, or $108
Relatives and Acquaintances$100 to $200$108, $126, $144, or $162
Close Family and Friends$100 to $500+See the chart below
Chart providing gift ranges for a bar or bat Mitzvah, depending on relationship

BUY A BAR MITZVAH OR BAT MITZVAH CARD HERE (Amazon)

Use The Bar or Bat Mitzvah Money Gift Amount Calculator Below!!

You can calculate your own gift amount quickly and simply with the below bar or bat mitzvah money gift calculator. The calculator is very quick and easy to use.

I will explain it in more detail below, but it is good luck and Jewish tradition to give gifts in multiples of 18 or Chai/life.

  1. So simply enter the number 18 for A1 (prefilled now)
  2. In A2, enter the multiple of Chai you would like to gift. (ex. 10 times)
  3. The calculator will calculate how much money to gift. (ex $180 gift)
  4. You can adjust the multiple higher or lower to change your gift amount.
Multiples of 18 calculator

Beyond cash or gift cards, consider gifts that resonate with the celebrant’s interests or heritage, like religious items, books, stocks or even experiences. These choices not only honor tradition but also reflect a thoughtful connection to the celebrant’s journey.

Gifts with personal stories or meanings often leave the most enduring impressions. I will provide several suggestions in a bit, but feel free to jump directly to them in the Table of Contents.

As you navigate this meaningful occasion, remember that your gift’s value lies in its thoughtfulness and the joy it brings, rather than its monetary worth. Whether choosing a traditional gift of money in increments of $18 or a more personalized offering, the essence of your gesture is what truly commemorates this pivotal milestone.

In This Article We Will Answer:

  • What is an appropriate Bar Mitzvah gift amount or Bat Mitzvah gift amount?
  • Why are multiples of 18 traditionally preferred?
  • What constitutes proper Bat and Bar Mitzvah gift etiquette?
  • Why is money still considered the most common bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah gifts?
  • Are there alternative gifts like gift cards or stocks?
  • What is a bar or bat mitzvah – and what is the difference?

Quick Summary: What is a Good Bat or Bar Mitzvah Gift Amount?

If you’re short on time, here’s the gist:

  • Cash is the most traditional and common option when it comes to Bar Mitzvah gifts and Bat Mitzvah gifts.
  • According to jewish tradition, it’s a common practice to give in multiples of $18, which symbolizes life (Chai in numerology).
  • The amount can vary depending on your relationship to the child and family, your financial situation, and other factors.
  • But don’t worry, we’ll also suggest some cool and unique gift ideas beyond traditional jewelry.

What Are Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

I briefly touched ont he typical gift ranges for bat and Bar Mitzvahs, and will get into more detail in the next section. But since you have been invited to a Bar/Bat/B’nai Mitzvah – let’s first give you an idea of what it means and what to expect before going.

If all you want is the gift amount and ideas, feel free to continue scrolling.

Bar Mitzvah Boy and Bat Mitzvah Girl – Young People to Adult

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a bar mitzvah vs a bat mitzvah?

Bar Mitzvah Reading the Torah
Bar Mitzvah Reading the Torah

A bar mitzvah ( for boys) or bat mitzvah (for girls) is a Jewish rite of passage, celebrating a child’s official entry into adulthood. It’s a momentous occasion that you’ll want to honor with an appropriate and thoughtful gift.

Bar Mitzvah: At 13, a Jewish boy becomes a “son of the commandment,” taking on the responsibility to observe Jewish law and traditions.

  • In Hebrew, Bar Mitzvah means “son of the commandment”.
  • This ceremony marks the transition of a Jewish boy from a child to adulthood, at the age of 13.
  • This is the moment a boy becomes responsible for observing Jewish law and traditions.

Bat Mitzvah: Similarly, at 12 or 13, a Jewish girl steps into her role as a “daughter of the commandment,” ready to uphold and honor her cultural and religious heritage.

B’nai Mitzvah: This plural form refers to ceremonies celebrating this coming of age for multiple children, highlighting the collective journey into communal and spiritual maturity.
“B‘nai mitzvah” means a ceremony for two or more boys or mixed gender.  B‘not mitzvah is the plural for girls.

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Celebrating Jewish Coming of Age

This special occasion typically happens when a child turns 13 years old, and it is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate.

The event usually takes place in a synagogue, and the boy or girl will read from the Torah (a handwritten scroll with the Five Books of Moses) and lead prayers.

Janet Ruth Heller, Ph.D. gives a great explanation of what you can expect:

There is a religious service on Friday night and another on Saturday morning.  Part or all of the service will be in Hebrew, and a lot of it will be sung or chanted.  You will receive a prayerbook with Hebrew and with English translations. 

The Saturday service is longer and contains the key part of the ceremony: the bar or bat mitzvah leads prayers and chants from the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and also chants a haftarah from the prophetic books of the Jewish scriptures. You may want to sit with a Jewish friend to get explanations for what is going on.

Janet Ruth Heller

As we discussed, a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah marks a pivotal point in a Jewish young person’s life. It symbolizes their passage into adulthood and their commitment to upholding Jewish laws and traditions.

As family and friends gather to celebrate, a common question arises: Is it appropriate to bring a gift?

Gifting Etiquette: To Give or Not to Give?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, bringing a gift is generally seen as a gesture of support and celebration. If you’re close to the family or the celebrant, a gift becomes even more meaningful.

What Makes a Good Gift?

Cash, checks, and gift cards are always practical, letting the celebrant decide how best to use your gift.

Alternatively, a donation in their name to a charity reflects a thoughtfulness that aligns with the spirit of the occasion.

For those seeking guidance, the tradition of giving in multiples of $18 symbolizes chai or life, offering a range of meaningful options based on your relationship and budget.

Lisa Mirza Grotts, a certified etiquette expert, provides some other great tips as well. Ms. Grotts reminds us that beyond the gift, dressing modestly and respecting the event’s protocols—detailed in the invitation—are key to honoring this significant moment in the celebrant’s life.

“Modest dress is appropriate, and the rules that apply are much like other parties. The invitation will state if you can bring a guest; it will mark the time, location, and dress code which is the hallmark of any event.

The most important thing to remember is that this is a very significant moment in a child’s life.”

Lisa Mirza Grotts, certified etiquette expert

Why $18? Chai = Life

Bar Mitzvah gifts Bat Mitzvah gift

You may have heard about the number 18 being significant as part of a gift for a bar or Bat Mitzvah. And I have briefly mentioned this a few times earlier in the article.

Imagine you have a secret code where numbers can represent words. In Hebrew, the language spoken by Jewish people, each letter also has a number value.

The word “chai,” which means “life,” is spelled with two letters that add up to 18.

So, giving a gift of money in multiples of 18 at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is like sending a secret message saying, “I wish you a long and happy life!” It’s a special way to celebrate their big step into adulthood with good luck and lots of life.

What is an Appropriate Gift Amount For a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah?

In 2024, consider your relationship with the celebrant and your financial situation to decide on a gift amount. Whether it’s a modest contribution or something more substantial, the thoughtfulness and intention behind your gift are what truly matter.

Gifts in multiples of $18 are more than a custom; they’re a way to wish the celebrant a life filled with luck and happiness. This tradition, rooted in the numerical value of chai, meaning life, underscores the deep connection between gifting and offering blessings for a prosperous future.

Determining the Gift Amount
You know that the religious ceremony is important to the family, but you want your gift to reflect that importance and show your appreciation.

Money is the most common gift for a bar mitzvah, but what amount? The short answer to ‘how much money do you give‘ is in the bar or bat mitzvah cash gifts chart below, but isn’t also a good idea to spend a few minutes to get to know a little bit about the following?

Considerations of Gift Giving:

When it comes to giving gifts for bar mitzvahs, there are a few things to take into consideration.

The most important factor is the relationship you have with the bar mitzvah boy or girl. If you are close family, you will want to give a more substantial gift than if you are a distant relative or friend.

Another important factor is your financial situation. If you are able to afford it, you may want to give a gift in the range of $90 to $126, which is two to four times the amount of a typical bar mitzvah gift.

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to give a gift in the range of $36 to $54, which is three to six times the amount of a typical gift for a bar mitzvah. Whatever you decide to give, the most important thing is that you consider in multiples of $18 for Chai or life.

Bar Mitzvah Gift 2022 Cash Amount Bat Mitzvah Gift giving chart
Feel free to share, but attribute “Bar & Bat Mitzvah Gift Chart” to www.michaelryanmoney.com

Janet Ruth Heller, Ph.D. – author, synagogue teacher and tutor for many bar/bat mitzvah students – brings up a good point about gifting.

If the ceremony is at an Orthodox or Hasidic synagogue, strict rules for the Jewish Sabbath forbid carrying money or gifts, so you will have to send a gift in advance.  For this reason, I prefer to send all gifts by mail in advance to avoid offending relatives who are more traditional.

Janet Ruth Heller

After reading my blog post on gift giving for bar and bat mitzvahs, a reader named Ann Kuperberg shared a helpful comment that I wanted to share with my readers:

“It seems people in New York & major East Coast cities, perhaps Los Angeles, too, think nothing of giving hundreds of dollars to distant relatives, classmates, etc. When our sons had their bar mitzvah ceremonies, congregants gave a pen, a book, and one family of 5 adults gave a check for $25.00.

When my grandkids had their b’nai mitzvah, there was no gift less than $100.00. We’re talking congregants who really didn’t know the family but attended services every week, etc.” – Ann Kuperberg

Mazal Tov for Bat Mitzvah Gift

Gifts If You Can’t Attend
Unable to attend? Sending a gift still conveys your warm wishes and recognition of the milestone. Consider items that the celebrant can use in adulthood or a thoughtful card filled with personal congratulations.

Whether opting for cash, a Jewish symbolic item like a mezuzah or menorah, or something that caters to the celebrant’s hobbies, the essence of your gift should convey your joy and pride in their achievement.

Alternatives To Cash As a Gift: Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gifts Other Than Money?

Girl Carrying the Torah During her Bat Mitzvah
Girl Carrying the Torah During her Bat Mitzvah

If you do not want to give the bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah a gift of cash or check – there are a couple of other similar alternatives that are very common.

The first would be a gift card.  A Visa, Mastercard, or American Express gift card are common – but it is most common now for an Amazon Gift Card to be gifted.  Again, gifting in increments of 18 is considered to be good luck.

You can get a very nice gift card box that comes in traditional Jewish colors of blue and white.  Choose your denomination on the right side, if you choose to get a gift card in increments of $18.

BUY AN AMAZON GIFT CARD HERE

Buying Israeli Bonds is a second great alternative to cash as a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah gift
Giving Israel bonds as gifts is a unique way to mark important occasions.  Israel Bonds have a five-year redemption period and support Israel.

  • Online shoppers can buy Mazel Tov Bonds, a unique gift, for a $100 minimum.  
  • Alternatively, E-Mitzvah bonds are available for a minimum purchase price of $36.
  • For additional information, go to the Israel Bonds website: Israel Bonds | Invest in Israel

QUICK GIFT LIST – SAVE TIME AND CLICK THE LINKS BELOW FOR A CARD AND GIFT

Non Monetary, Meanigful Bar or Bat Mitavah Gifts

While a bar or bat mitzvah celebrates a child’s graduation into adulthood, it is still important to remember that this newly designated adult is still very much 13 years old.  When choosing a bar mitzvah gift or bat mitzvah gifts, you will definitely want to keep that in mind when deciding on a gift. 

Instead, try to focus on gifts that will help the child transition into this new phase of their life.

There are several Judaica related gifts that are very appropriate and appreciated as gifts for bar mitzvah and bat mitzvahs.

One option is to give a gift that will help the child in their religious studies. A new siddur, or Jewish prayer book, is a great option—it will be a constant reminder of their new responsibilities and will be used often during services. 

Top Choice: 

Siddur Tehillat Hashem

If you want to go a step further, you could also give a gift that will help the child learn more about their heritage and culture. A book on the history of the Jewish people or a guide to Jewish customs and traditions would be a great way to help them learn more about their identity.

Top 4 Choices:

Yad

A very personal and memorable bat or bar mitzvah gift would be a magnificent yad (torah pointer) as a one-of-a-kind gift. A Tallit Bag, which can be used all year long, is another item I enjoy giving as gifts. 

Top Choice:

Mezuzah

A Mezuzah is also highly special and can have a personalized phrase or name inscribed on it. There are numerous colors available and designs available! 

Top Choice: 

Jewelry

We absolutely adore the notion of giving a young woman her very first Star of David necklace, as a Bat Mitzvah gift:

Top Choice:

Or this Chai necklace for a young man as a Bar Mitzvah gift

Top Choice:

Menorahs

These beautiful and classic menorahs were recently given as a bat mitzvah gift and bar mitzvah gifts as well.

Top Choices

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If you’re looking for a more personal gift, you could always give something that the child can use in their everyday life. A nice watch or piece of jewelry is a great way to mark this special occasion, and it’s something that they can wear with pride. 

Another option is to give a gift that will help the child in their hobbies or interests—if they’re into sports, a new piece of equipment or gear would be perfect. Or, if they’re into art or music, you could give them a new sketchbook or instrument.

Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and learn about the importance of giving the perfect bar or bat mitzvah gift. I hope you found the information helpful and that it has given you some ideas for your next gift-giving occasion.

Remember, the key is to make your gift meaningful and reflective of the occasion. And don’t forget that giving a gift in multiples of 18 is a traditional way to wish the bar or bat mitzvah child good luck in their life.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. And if you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family.

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Note: The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or legal advice. Consult with a professional advisor or accountant for personalized guidance.

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryanhttps://michaelryanmoney.com/
Who Am I? I'm Michael Ryan, a retired financial planner turned personal financial coach. And author and found of blog. My advice is backed by decades of hands-on experience in finance and recognition in esteemed publications like US News & World Report, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. 'here'. Find answers to your financial questions, from budgeting to investing and retirement planning, on my blog michaelryanmoney.com. My mission is to democratize financial literacy for all.