- A traditional gift for a bar mitzvah embraces the cultural and religious significance of the event. Consider a gift that allows the bar mitzvah child to better perform the commandments. A Tallit, for example, might be carried throughout his life and can be used in the temple for the bar mitzvah itself. A Tzedakah box, used to save money for charity, is a keystone in Jewish culture and makes a great bar mitzvah gift.
- Jewelry is an excellent way to commemorate such a symbolic event, both religious and personal. A chain featuring a religious pendant such as a Star of David, an engraved ring or a nice set of cuff links can be worn for years. A Jewish- or Israeli-themed watch makes an especially nice gift for a bar mitzvah boy, as it acknowledges his transition into manhood, recognizes his faith and can even be further customized for his special day.
- If you feel out of your element attempting a religious-themed gift, consider a bar mitzvah more generally as a transition to adulthood. A gift that celebrates growing up will be equally appropriate and appreciated. Give something practical and enduring that requires some level of mature care, such as a wallet, a leather-bound journal or a ballpoint pen. Some shares of financial stock are designed especially for this occasion and can be an interesting, grown-up twist on just giving money as a gift.
- A bar mitzvah is often a costly celebration, and money -- though less personal than some other gifts -- will be greatly appreciated. If the money does not go toward the cost of the reception, it will likely go directly to the bar mitzvah child who can begin to practice his new adult responsibilities by saving for a large purchase. Monetary bar mitzvah gifts are often given in multiples of $18, "chai" in Hebrew, meaning "life."