How Much Should I Give For A Bat Mitzvah Gift?

Media / Blog

How Much Should I Give For A Bat Mitzvah Gift?

Prev

Five Business Lessons From Donald Trump

June 23, 2015

Most of you are probably familiar with the term “Bar Mitzvah” (you can view my article on how much to give for a bar mitzvah here) but you might get invited sometime soon to a “Bat Mitzvah”.  In the Jewish religion, generally when a girl turns the age of 12 (for Orthodox and Conservative) and 13 (for Reform) there is a celebration where the girl becomes recognized as an adult (woman).  When I turned the age of 13, I had my own Bar Mitzvah, where my friends, family, and distant relatives I saw once upon a family reunion showed up to hear me belt out a poorly sung haftorah.  The Bat (the word meaning daughter) Mitzvah celebration you will attend can range from something that will happen at the home with just a few friends and family, to a lavish style wedding event at a country club. I’ve witnessed some parents spend $50,000 to $100,000 to throw a Bat Mitzvah.  Oy vey!  So, what in the world do you get the young woman on her special Bat Mitzvah day?

First things first . . . A bat mitzvah isn’t a wedding and shouldn’t be treated at all with the same light as a wedding.   Although some parents choose to spend the same amount or more on their daughter’s bat mitzvah, it simply isn’t the wedding.   The kid is only turning the age of 12 or 13!    We also need to separate whether just your child is being invited to the event or you are being invited as an entire family.    Unlike weddings, I do think it also matters how close you are to the actual child and family having the bat mitzvah.  That being said, here are three ideas.

  1. CASH
    Let’s talk about this whole Jewish history around the number 18.   Times have changed, but I can distinctly recall my cousin Melvin giving me a gift of “chai” which was $18 bucks.  Even in 1982 $18 doesn’t take you very far if you want to buy anything. The word for “life” in Hebrew is “chai.” The two Hebrew letters that make up the word “chai” are chet and yud. Chet is equivalent to 8 and yud is equivalent to 10. So “chai”, chet and yud together, equals 18. Giving money in multiples of $18 is symbolic of giving “chai” or life. There are many people who give money in multiples of $18 as presents to someone celebrating a birth, a bar or bat mitzvah, or a wedding.If just your child is going to the bat mitzvah, don’t spend money on gift cards or savings bonds.  I simply think that isn’t a good idea.  You’ll be encouraging another teenager to go out and buy more stuff when they can be saving that money for their future.    A gift in the order of something like triple ‘chai’ or $54 would be a neat idea to give from teenager to teenager at the bat mitzvah.
  2. JEWISH JEWELRY
    Often, jewelry that becomes a cherished item for many years to come can be a good idea as an alternative to cash.   Jewelry that has the Jewish star or ‘chai’ can be a fantastic idea.    You can look at a website such as www.judaicawebstore.com to look at various types of jewelry that can be appropriate within your budget.  There are also ideas such as Kabbalah bracelets and other interesting necklaces that can be appropriate.
  3. OTHER IDEAS
    While cash and jewelry may be the most popular items, you could consider some other alternative ideas.  One idea is to create a special Jewish recipe and adding in all of the cookware/bakeware necessary to make the recipe along with a Jewish cookbook.   You could make a special donation to a charity in the name of the person having the Bat Mitzvah as well, although not my most recommended option.   Another cool idea would be to set up a small trip to an area so the young woman can start to see different parts of the country.

No matter what your faith, gift giving is always one of the toughest challenges we have in making day to day smart money moves.   It’s often a struggle that you’ll continue to discuss when the envelope is closed and you are on the way to the bat mitzvah.   Once you get there the damage is done one way or another, so make sure to at least get into a little Hava Nagila action and carry a leg of the chair during the joyous festivities.   And please no gold coins . . . unless they are real :)

Curious About A Bar Mitzvah Gift? Check Out My Article: How Much Should I Give For A Bar Mitzvah Gift?

Written by: Ted Jenkin
Request a FREE consultation: www.oxygenfinancial.net

Next

You Can Fix It Yourself

Sign Up

Sign up for our exclusive Sunday Paper with a weekly market commentary, insightful personal finance blogs, and life changing education guides.

Email sign up

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives of Kestra IS and Investment Advisor Representatives of Kestra AS may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact Kestra IS Compliance Department at 844-553-7872.

PLEASE NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. Kestra IS and Kestra AS makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is Kestra IS and Kestra AS liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to.