How Should You Give Money At A Bar Mitzvah?

How Should You Give Money At A Bar Mitzvah?

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A Bar Mitzvah is an exciting time in a young person’s life. While a celebration for a Bar Mitzvah isn’t necessary, it is a fun way to celebrate a young boy becoming a young man. 

If you have been invited to attend this religious experience, consider it an honor. 

During a Bar Mitzvah, you can expect that the young man will go over some of the lessons that he has been learning in the synagogue. He will also read the Torah aloud and give a speech thanking the people in his life. 

They will also take time to do a candle lighting ceremony. This can be an opportunity for the young person to thank family and friends by having them light a candle. 

After the beautiful ceremony, it’s time to celebrate. A young boy is now a man that gets a chance to celebrate his birthday. 

If you were invited to celebrate with the family, should you bring a gift for the birthday boy? If you plan on giving cash, is there a right or wrong way to give money at a Bar Mitzvah? 

There is no right or wrong way to give money at a Bar Mitzvah, but there is a preferred way. $18 is the symbol of “chai” in Jewish culture and translated from Hebrew, it means life. If you plan on giving cash at a Bar Mitzvah, it is best to give in increments of $18. 

You can either give a cash gift of $18 or you can give a triple chai of $54. You can even go in with friends and give a higher amount in increments of $18. 

To see the most popular Bar Mitzvah gifts just click here. 

Is A Gift Expected At A Bar Mitzvah? 

A Bar Mitzvah is more than just a birthday party. It is the religious celebration of becoming an adult. During the ceremony, the young person will share some of the traditions that they are now able to be a part of. 

After the religious ceremony, everyone will get to join in on the celebration with a party. If you attend a Bar Mitzvah, are you expected to give a gift? 

If so, what gift is an appropriate gift for a Bar Mitzvah? 

If you attend a Bar Mitzvah, a gift is expected. Even though it is focused more on acknowledging that a young person is becoming an adult, it is still a birthday party. 

Here are a few different ideas you can use to bring as a gift to your next Bar Mitzvah. 

  • Money: Cash is the most common gift given at Bar Mitzvahs. You can give cash in increments of $18 to symbolize “chai.” In addition to giving cash, you can also give money toward the young man’s future. You can either designate your money for college or a religious trip he might take. You can also choose to take part in the Jewish custom of “tzedakah.” This allows you to make a donation to a charity in honor of the Bar Mitzvah boy.  
  • Gifts Cards: If you happen to know some of the Bar Mitzvah boy’s favorites, you can get him a gift card to those favorite stores. Cash gifts usually go toward things you need and very rarely on things you want. If you give the gift of a gift card, he can go out to eat at his favorite restaurant or purchase something from his favorite store. 
  • Shabbat Candles and Candlesticks: Now that he is able to partake in Jewish traditions, you can purchase items necessary for him to continue in his faith. He will use the Shabbat throughout the rest of his life. You can also add candles of different shapes and colors. 
  • Mezuzahs: You can bless the home of the birthday boy by giving him a Mezuzah. It traditionally contains a parchment with scripture rolled inside to show that the family prides itself on their Jewish faith. If the birthday boy were to get more than one, it’s not a problem since these can be hung on any inner door in the house. 
  • Tallit: A Tallit, prayer shawl, makes for an excellent gift at a Bar Mitzvah. You can find designs that best represent the young man that you are purchasing for. 

How Long Does A Bar Mitzvah Last? 

When you attend a party you typically need to know when it starts and how long it will last. You need to know whether you will be there for hours or if it’s a come-and-go party. 

You need to plan your eating schedule for the party to make sure you don’t eat too much or not enough beforehand. When you attend a Bar Mitzvah, you know that there’s a celebration afterward, but what about the actual ceremony? 

How long does a Bar Mitzvah ceremony last? 

A Bar Mitzvah ceremony will typically last an hour and a half to two hours. The length of the service depends on how many customs are celebrated during the ceremony. 

Orthodox Bar Mitzvahs can end up lasting close to three hours as they participate in more customs. Typically, a Bar Mitzvah ceremony can last two to three hours.  

During the service, you can expect to see several customs that the young man is now responsible for participating in. He will share things that he has learned while studying the Torah. 

He will also read from a portion of the Torah as well. There will be a candle lighting ceremony where he will thank friends and family as they take turns lighting the candles. 

Some services include time for the young man to share a religious project that he has been working on as well. 

How Should You Dress When You Attend A Bar Mitzvah? 

Have you ever been to a party and felt that you were either underdressed or overdressed? It can be intimidating to find the proper attire to wear when attending a party. 

Since a Bar Mitzvah is a religious celebration, is there a specific dress code that you should follow when attending? 

Typically, the invitation will tell you what appropriate attire would be for the event. If the invitation doesn’t have the dress code, you should typically dress in your best clothes. 

Men are typically expected to wear a suit and tie while women should wear a modest dress or formal pantsuit. 

Final Thoughts 

Next time you are invited to a Bar MItzvah, don’t show up empty-handed. You can either bring a gift of cash or choose a gift that will help him follow his traditions. 

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