Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gift Ideas

Calligraphy print
A personalized calligraphy print of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah's Torah portion is a special gift. Pictured here, the personalized print Andy received for his Bar Mitzvah, March 21, 1981.

What is a meaningful gift for a bar/bat mitzvah?

If possible, ask the bar or bat mitzvah and his/her parents what might be an appropriate, useful, or valued gift. Here are several present possibilities (categories and specific items):

TanakhTanakh (Hebrew Bible)
-Jewish Publication Society, JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, Student Edition

Torah Commentary
-Harvey Fields, A Torah Commentary for Our Times, UAHC Press

Personalized Calligraphy
Personalized Calligraphy Torah Portion Prints

Classical Jewish Literature
-Barry Holtz (editor), Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, Simon & Schuster

Plant a Tree in Israel
Plant a tree in Israel in honor of the bar/bat mitzvah

Jewish Religious Practice
-Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath, FSG Classics

Jewish History & Culture
-Bryan Schwartz (Author), Jay Sand (Contributor), Sandy Carter (Contributor), Scattered Among The Nations, Weldon Owen

Judaica BookJewish Sacred & Cultural Objects
-Myra Yellin Outwater (Andy’s mother), Judaica, Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

Jewish Cooking
-Leah Koenig, Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today’s Kitchen, Chronicle Books

Big Book of Jewish Humor
Jewish Humor
-William Novack and Moshe Waldoks (editors), The Big Book of Jewish Humor, William Morrow Paperbacks

Jewish Sacred Objects (see, for example, Fair Trade Judaica):
-Shabbat Candlesticks
-Havdalah Candle Holder
-Kiddush Cup (used to sanctify Sabbath and holiday meals)

Tzedakah BoxTzedakah (“Charity”) Box (above)
-Hanukkiah (Hanukkah candelabrum, menorah)
-Yad (“hand”, pointer for Torah reading)
-Shofar (ram’s horn)
-Tallit (prayer shawl)

Jewish Works of Art (see, for example, Fair Trade Judaica)

Gift Certificates ($18 or multiples of it is a common amount as it equals the Hebrew word for “life,” chai) or charitable donations (this could be related to the bar/bat “mitzvah” project).