It’s time to choose a gift for the bar mitzvah boy in your life. But what to get? A baseball mitt for a sports enthusiast? The latest Xbox game? Keep in mind that a bar mitzvah is not just a glorified birthday bash, but one of the most important spiritual milestones in the young man’s life. You’ll want to make sure you choose something suitable for such a significant occasion.

Of course, you also want to get something he’ll appreciate. Ask his parents about his interests and hobbies, if you’re not sure. The best gifts are both personal and meaningful.

Traditional gifts include Jewish books, such as a siddur (prayerbook) or chumash (Bible). Both of these can be purchased with beautiful leather or silver bindings. Judaica such as a silver kiddush cup, or a yad (the pointer used during the Torah reading), is also a popular choice. A tzedakah box for charity will encourage the young man in the great Jewish tradition of giving. You can find these items and more at our online Judaica store.

Still not sure what to get? Cash gifts or gift certificates have become very common at bar mitzvahs. Many have the custom of gifting in multiples of 18, the numerical value of the Hebrew word chai, which means “life.”

Finally, many bar mitzvahs take place on Shabbat, when carrying in the public domain is prohibited. It is advisable not to bring the gift with you when go to the event, but rather to send it before or after Shabbat.

Mazal tov, and good luck choosing the perfect gift!