Bar or Bat Mitzvah Gift Guide

What to get for the bar or bat mitzvah kid in your life.

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Do-It-Yourself Presents

If you are a do-it-yourself type of person, you might want to tackle an art project that the bar or bat mitzvah can display and enjoy for years to come. Framing and embellishing the service or party invitation is one way to help capture their special day. Many companies will also do the dirty work for you.

If you don’t mind giving your present a bit late, you could also make a scrapbook of pictures from the bar/bat mitzvah itself. Consider including the invitation, pressed flowers, a copy of the bar/bat mitzvah speech, and any other small tidbits from the special day. You can find all the supplies you need for Jewish scrap-booking online.

Donating to Charity

Finally, one of the core tenets of Judaism is tzedakah (charity). Making a donation in honor of the bar or bat mitzvah is a meaningful way to incorporate the Jewish (and universal) value of helping those in need. You can personalize this type of gift even further by donating to a cause about which the bar or bat mitzvah feels passionate. For example, if the young man or woman loves to read, a donation to Room to Read will help advance literacy for children around the world. If they are budding environmentalists, The Conservation Fund would be another great choice.

There are also many worthy causes with a Jewish bent, such as Chai Lifeline, a Jewish organization that provides comprehensive programs for children with cancer and their families. The Gift of Life is a bone marrow registry that puts special emphasis on obtaining Jewish donors (there is a serious lack of eligible Jewish donors because blood lines were so terribly severed during the Holocaust.)

Charity Navigator is a web resource that can help you choose a worthy cause that utilizes donations in an honest way.

The bar/bat mitzvah is a celebration of life, and a thoughtful gift is an excellent way to mark the milestone. Good luck choosing the perfect gift!

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Arielle Sperling

Arielle Sperling is an editorial intern at MyJewishLearning and Kveller. She is a rising junior at Colgate University where she is double majoring in English with a creative writing concentration and environmental studies. Her work has appeared in The Jewish Week newspaper and The Colgate Portfolio.