Lulu’s Mitzvah Gift Giving Guide

About 6 months ago I wrote a 3am post about the things I think about in the middle of the night and one of them included “How much do you give at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah?” Several people commented with their suggestions and since then I have had many people email me asking where to find that post. After re-doing  my site, I have stored all of my posts in much easier to find categories. For example, under Food Porn is recipes, restaurants, and anything else related to food. My holiday recipes are housed there as well as many of my clean eating recipes and restaurant reviews. Same goes with Fab Finds (all my gift guides, trends, boutiques, fashion, apps, etc), my rants (all the things I am dishing about), etc. I hope you will find this more useful. Since the Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift giving was written on a 3am post, I felt it needed its own post which will now be housed with all the Mitzvah Magic (under Fab Finds).

Therefore, if you are trying to figure out what to give as a gift for a Mitzvah, here is a GUIDELINE that I have put together from several people who I have asked. This is definitely not set in stone and if you have an opinion about whether these numbers are on target or way off base, by all means, PLEASE comment below!

Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts are always given in multiples of 18. WHY?

“The word for ‘life’ in Hebrew is ‘chai.’ The two Hebrew letters that make up the word ‘chai’ are chet and yud. In Gematria (the numerical value of Hebrew letters), chai is equivalent to eight and yud is equivalent to ten. So ‘chai,’ chet, and yud together, equals 18. Giving money in multiples of $18 is symbolic of giving ‘chai’ or life. Chai checks, or checks of any amount, are usually deposited by the parents into the kid’s college fund. I have no idea what happened to my Bat Mitzvah money but I am going to assume it did not go to college (dad- don’t respond :))


  • a friend – $36
  • a camp friend – $36-$54 (Long Island peeps tend to give $54)
  • if your child can’t go – $18 (UNLESS it’s a good friend $36)
  • you and your spouse (no kids) $180, $218, $254 (depending on level of friendship)
  • you and your spouse with 1 kid – $254-$354 (depending on level of friendship)
  • you and your spouse with 2 kids – $354-$400
  • you and your spouse with 3 kids – $400-$500
  • 4+ kids (good luck, maybe try not to get invited…just kidding)
  • your BFF – $418-518 (with your family)
  • if you are single/divorced/widowed (same rules apply with a 10% discount…this is just what I was told 🙂 )

Hope this helps!

Agree/Disagree? Thoughts? (please comment below).


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