What Is an Appropriate Bar Mitzvah Gift?

Even though there isn't one traditional gift, people give the boys and girls becoming bar and bat mitzvah gifts that have symbolic meanings. Some of the most popular gifts are money or gift cards in $18 increments, as chai, the Hebrew word for life, has a numerical value of 18.

Other popular gifts are Judaica items that the recipients can keep their entire lives, such as shabbos candlesticks or a hanukkiyah, the traditional candle holder for Hanukkah. Other traditional Judaica gifts are shofarot — ram's horns usually blown during the High Holidays — tzedakah boxes, or mezuzot — doorposts hung in Jewish homes containing Torah scrolls.