Bar Mitzvah Gifts

What's the most appropriate gift to give a Bar Mitzvah boy?

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Comments (42)

(34) Do Lern Hwei, January 17, 2012 12:18 PM

Congratulations to the boy!

I will give the boy a Chumesh or Gematria. Also, hope that someone in the family will encourage him to continue reading and reflecting on them beyond age 12.

(33) Anonymous, January 17, 2012 12:34 AM

Mazal tov!

My tradition is to give a book about Judaism as a Bar Mitzvah gift. He might not read it immediately, but it will be there for him when he's ready.

(32) Yerachmiel, January 12, 2012 4:14 AM

Mazal tov!

What a great way to have us all attend Tuvi's Bar Mitzvah. May you and Temmy enjoy great nachas from the kids and grandkids and get to celebrate every milestone for many good years to come in good health. The greatest gift to give your progeny is the gift of you! Love, Yerachmiel and Chanie

(31) Silvain Miller, January 11, 2012 11:47 PM

Rabbi Salomon, I give the Bar Mitzvah Bocher a personalized and beautifully designed piece of art, complete with a complex GEMATRIA, to commemorate the event. I find his name in a portion of his Parsha and/or his Haftora and highlight it. He will cherish it for the rest of his life. Parents tell me that it was the nicest gift he received. (I also sell them.) If you send me your e-mail, I will forward you a PDF of a sample art. כל טוב Silvain Miller, Toronto.

Anonymous, July 16, 2012 3:03 PM

PDF sample art gift for Bar Mitzvah

I read your comment (Jan.12.2012) regarding Bar Mitzvah gift and would appreciate if you could share it with me, as my grandson will have his Bar Mitzvah in two months - Toda Raba

Anonymous, September 14, 2014 11:06 PM

I would love to explore this option for my grandson

Please provide more information about the source and contact. Todah Rabah.

(30) yitzy, January 11, 2012 5:35 PM


you mentioned something that starts with an I and I think an Ipod with several prerecorded life lessons from his grandfathers wisdom would be most appropriate, you can also add on a playlist of Rabbi Weinbergs wisdom as well. The amount of Torah that is available to download on or elsewhere is a truly a gift that he will be able to use for hours on end.

(29) ruth housman, January 11, 2012 2:23 PM

The Gift

You have to know the heart of a young man to give a gift from the heart. It seems this trip is a deep and lasting gift, one that will be remembered, and it could be travel to some places that might truly be remembered, would be a great gift, not necessarily a material thing. What's immaterial is often the greatest gift of all, and it's also immaterial that it's something to carry away, other than in deep memory. It could be music, a very special concert, or meeting with someone he admires. Or it could be a gift certificate to return, to a Camp for a short time in Israel, or to some other place that would have ongoing significance to him. I thought the story of time and the watch quite beautiful. The other day I heard that soon watches will be sold so people can actually "watch" videos on their watches. It seems a language based story to me, and that if you can do it with words, it's going to happen. I am writing endlessly about this on line. In the end, the end of the line, it's got to be about LOVE, so whatever you do in following your heart, cannot ever truly miss the mark.

(28) cvmay, January 11, 2012 3:21 AM

Inspiration and Cash

Buy your grandson a sefer, "A Tzaddik in our Time", the story of Rav Aryeh Levin. Then a few days a week, read it together with him. He will be floored with the real Ahavas Yisroel of this Tzaddik. Then add a gift certificate or check for him to decide what is his personal desire.

(27) joe harris, January 11, 2012 2:31 AM

A pair of tefilloin Atrip to israel

(26) Harriet Wolpoff, January 11, 2012 12:14 AM

for the child who has everything

The best gift for the child who has everything? A tzedakah box.

Kimberly, January 11, 2012 3:29 PM

Very good answer.

(25) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 11:43 PM

In my opinon an Israel bond is the only gift that should be given for Bar MItzvah or bas Mitzvah. Jewish connection to Israel is important for all young people particulary at this point in their lives.

(24) Gabriel Lancaster MBE, January 10, 2012 11:37 PM

Barmitzvah gift

For the past few years I have standardised on Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts: I always give a pair of binoculars, together with a letter explaining my choice. That it is not a toy but must be looked after in an adult way, that it brings things nearer from far away, as does the study of the Torah, that my love & respect for their parents leads me to give a thoughtful gift, etc. Without exception the 'thank you' letter fulfills my expectations

(23) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 11:25 PM

Seforim, seforim, seforim

I love the concordance. I feel it attaches us to Tanach. Mazel tov.

(22) Michael Fenton, January 10, 2012 11:18 PM

silver dollar

My grandmother gave me a silver dollar and in the following years I obtained 9 more. Even though silver dollars appreciated maybe 30 times. I never sold them. Instead I gave them one at a time to my grandchildren as they were born.

(21) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 10:16 PM

Bar Mitzvah Gifts!!!

The best gift to give a Bar Mitzvah boy in my opinion is money. This way, he can buy whatever he wants or needs within reason of course and with parental discretion. If you want to give a gift that is not monetary, I suggest either a watch or a camera which these days of course is usually digital. When I was Bar Mitzvahed in 1972, the two types of cameras that were the most popular were the instamatic and the old style Polaroid which accepted either black and white #107 film or color #108 film and which happened to have been the best quality Polaroid ever on the market. I received one of these Polaroid cameras for my Bar Mitzvah and still kept it to this day. Unfortunately, I do not believe that there is film still available for this style Polaroid camera. Other gift options could be either a microscope or telescope if the boy is interested in science. A gift certificate to a Judaica store was also a good suggestion. Lots of mazel tov to Rabbi Salomon and to the whole family on the occasion of your grandson's Bar Mitzvah. Lots of Jewish nachas from your grandson and from all of your children and grandchildren and future offspring.

(20) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 9:46 PM

a sefer or book that he will read or refer to for years

even a theasaurus if not a Jewish book. lots of good Jewish spy novels also now

(19) chava, January 10, 2012 9:30 PM

don't come only for a bar mitzvah

You're right. Israel is most definitely the place for your grandson (or anyone) to mark his becoming a bar mitzvah. But even better would be to begin planning your (and his) aliyah. Living here is even better than just coming for his bar mitzvah. Mazal Tov!! I think books are the way to go in the gift dept. For those not related, I've been known to give a stamp with a pasuk and his name to mark all his sfarim.

(18) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 9:25 PM

Mazel tov on your grandson's Bar Mitzvah

When my friend's son became a Bar Mitzvah I gave him a yad of his own to read Torah.

(17) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 9:09 PM


A good gift would be a wonderful book on Jewish history.

(16) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 8:53 PM


If you have the wherewithall to do it, the best is to give him $10 a month in a high-interest bank account after which in 8 years, he will have enough money to go on a trip to Israel. I would say that the best gift you can give him is to have a year's experience in a Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael - the opportunity to excel, grow and learn about Yiddishkite, the land of Israel, and his heritage in a year, at a time when he can appreciate it, and enjoy it is the greatest gift. If that is too much....I would consider a simple sefer - a set of mishnayos or something, but the key here is not to buy the set, but rather to learn it with him, spend 6 months, learning 2 mishnayos a day with him, and at the end of 6 months, make a siyum or celebration of completing a seder or the sefer of choice, and then give him that sefer. The other gift is to give him the opportunity to do tzedakka - organize a fundraising project with him involved to help terror victims or local charities, and use money that would have been used to buy a cool gadget to improve the lives of others. Spend a little money on a photograph or certificate that states: "I used my barmitzvah money to help better the lives of others".

(15) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 8:48 PM

careful in choosing books

I would like to remind people that while books area wonderful gift, they need to be appropriate . My nephew has a severe learning disability and for his bar Mitzvah he was given few books that even now, in bios mid-20's he is unable to read. Some people who gave him books that he can actually read and learn from - this he has treasured. But the 4 books he got that he can't read, well, 2 were inscribed, so they could not be returned for something at an appropriate level.

(14) Tamar D., January 10, 2012 8:34 PM

Bar Mitzvah gifts

Besides planting a tree in Israel in honor of the Bar Mitzvah, we always try to give something memorable, a keepsake that would further the celebrant's "Yiddishkeit." This, in the past, has been a special yad, partial tuition to a Jewish summer camp (with parents' knowledge in advance), a book of Tehillim, the book Talmud on Training Wheels (AWESOME!), a pair of bookends from Israel. You get the idea. Something that will also give back is a lovely tseddakah box (see Lori Almost Live) with a personal note on the mandate to give - and the blessings derived from "paying forward."

(13) Daniel, January 10, 2012 8:29 PM

Bar Mitzvah

It is important to remember the real reason for a Bar Mtzvah, that the young person is now an adult it is most appropriate to give gifts that reflect that. As in ancient times give them the things they will need to start their adult life. I liked the idea of the watch. But cash is always good. any Judaical item is always appropriate.

(12) yehudis, January 10, 2012 8:24 PM

bar mitzvah gift

I usually give a check. Right before Chanukah I gave a beautiful menorah to my cousin's son on the occasion of his bar mitzvah and he loved it.

(11) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 8:23 PM

Bar Mitzvah Gift

IMHO, the gift should be different from the standard birthday gift, just as this is not an "ordinary" birthday. It should highlight the "mitzvah" aspect of the bar mitzvah. My son received a personalized kiddush cup on his birth and he treasures using it every Shabbat to recite the blessin along with his father. Another nice idea is a "Chai" or "Star of David" pendant on a chain, in either silver (generally seen as younger and cooler) or gold, that he can wear daily to remind him of his special heritage.

(10) Susan, January 10, 2012 8:05 PM

Mazel Tov...

Electric razor...he might not need it quite yet but will love the idea of having one for when he does.

(9) Anonymous, January 10, 2012 7:52 PM

give a sefer so that he'll be able to show off how many he's got

i like to give seforim for barmitzva boys.. though thy don't appreciate it .. they will when thyre older.. my childrens grandparents bought my sons a small shas(not the chosson size, a user friendly set) and they use it all the years in yeshiva!!

(8) yoram raanan, January 10, 2012 6:21 PM

the gift of inspiriation

mazal tov sabarabi! a wonderful opportunity to give someone lifelong inspiration, is to give the opportunity of discovering the wonderful world of fine jewish art prints. beautiful jewish content to live with and grow to appreciate more and more. gift certificates allow the benefactor to choose what speaks to him most.

(7) Asher, January 10, 2012 4:35 PM

A gift of Chesed

Dear Reb Yaakov, Mazel tov to you and your wife as well as your entire family on the Bar Mitzvah of your oldest grandson. I was thinking as to what would be a fabulous gift to your grandson and then I remembered what my father did at the Bar Mitzvah Seuda of my oldest nephew at his Bar Mitzvah. My father pulled out a new checkbook and handed it to my nephew and said " This is a new checking account that was opened for him with 100.00 in it" for him to start an account for giving Tzedaka. I believe that my nephew still has that account and uses it as a seperate tzedaka account. Not to say that a trip to Eretz Yisroel is certainly enough, but unfortunately in todays world that we are living in.. The children of today find a trip to anywhere just a trip, and i tmay something they talk about for a while but eventually drifts away. It is my wish that your new Bar Mitzvah Boy remembers well the trip to Eretz Yisroel and the brochos that he is getting from all the Gedolim while being there and may tghe world at large only see great things from this young "SOLOMON". As far as the story about the watch.. I received as a present from two people a watch. One was a Bulova which I treasured and wore everyday until I lost it at Gym once a few years later. The other watch which was a Witnauer, I cherish until today some 35 years later and wear on special ocassions. Time is not to be wasted as it goes way to fast . Thank you for the great article as always and Mazel tov again.

(6) Anonymous, January 9, 2012 9:04 PM

Mazel tov upon your grandson's Bar Mitzvah. I like to give a gift certificate to a beautiful Judaica Book Store. I want the Bar Mitzvah boy to be inspired and excited about choosing his own books, shofar, tzedakah box, kosher clock, becher, CD's, DVD's and/or menorah.

(5) Gerald K Steinberg, January 9, 2012 8:49 PM

Bar Mitzvah ideas

Shalom Jews! I am from Heinsberg Germany but i moved to America to become a lawyer. My 12 yr old boy is having a Bar Mitzvah I want to get him a good gift for under 10 bucks? Any suggestion will be taken kindly. Thankyou and Mazal tov!

lisa, January 10, 2012 1:50 PM

Mazel Tov....

how about a pastrami sandwhich .... or 10 one dollar lottery tickets......a pair of socks.....its really endless!!!

Malka, January 10, 2012 11:06 PM

Mazal Tov

I like the idea of giving your son a judaica gift certificate.

Jay B, January 10, 2012 9:12 PM

$10 Bar Mitzvah Gift

A ticket to the Jewish Heritage Museum in Boro Park.

Anonymous, January 10, 2012 9:47 PM

a book

simple book that he will refer to for years

joanna, January 11, 2012 7:06 AM

i got my brother a nice siddur, it was a bbit more than 10 dollars, but not by much. wrote some really nice stuff in the front cover. that could be nice

(4) Lisa, January 8, 2012 10:56 PM

Mazal Tov!!! May you celebrate your simcha B'simcha!

You can combine Israel with cash & purchase an Israel Bond!!! I guess we can call it an iBond!!

(3) Anonymous, January 8, 2012 6:09 PM

Mazel tov! I love the idea of giving your grandson a watch. My husband got a watch for his Bar Mitzvah and he treasures it.

(2) Anonymous, January 8, 2012 5:46 PM

Mazel tov!!!

Mazel tov!! My father-in-law has a very wise older cousin who spoke to him on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. He said the most important thing about a Bar Mitzvah is not the gifts. It's about the money you get when you return the gifts!!!

(1) Joel M. Mazel, January 8, 2012 4:09 PM

Family Biography

Mazal -tov on your simcha, R' Salomon!! The best gift would be a family biography of your family history from a Jewish perspective showing your grandchildren their family roots. Also, a family tree with the names along with the family biography would be an added touch. P.S. While you are in Israel, perhaps you could administer some psychotherapy to the small group of charedim in Beit Shemesh verbally abusing frum school children.


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