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I am attending my bosses's daughters bat mitzvah and I'm not sure what is appropriate to give as a gift. I was thinking just cash or gift card like I would do for any other birthday party I would go to for a child but not sure if that's acceptable as a gift in this setting. I'm not jewish and this is really my first real interaction with jewish faith so anything that would help would be great. Thank you!

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    BigMoneySeth, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! You might find some of the answers to this early Mi Yodeya post helpful. I stand by my answer there: money's just fine. May your future contact with the Jewish community continue to be punctuated with happy occasions. – Isaac Moses Aug 22 at 20:42
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    Some other things to consider: You don't want to give the gift on Shabbat. And, even if the party is not on Shabbat, it's often busy and things can get misplaced. You might be better off giving the gift to your boss at work to take home to the daughter. – Heshy Aug 22 at 20:54
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    Possible duplicate of What bar/bat mitzva present did you actually want/like/use? – LN6595 Aug 22 at 21:21
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    @DonielF, He asks if money or a gift card is acceptable. Perhaps it violates the rules of a Bas Mitzvah? He doesn't know. – Yishai Aug 23 at 14:30
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    I'm going to cast the fifth vote to re-open. I agree with @Yishai that this is on-topic. It can't be marked as a duplicate of another post that is, in turn, closed. Anyway, this question is asking what's appropriate, as in setting boundaries, while the closed question was asking for recommendations/experiences, which is a different question. "What is appropriate" is something that ought to be answerable from an objective point of view, though it might be community-dependent, so I don't see this as "Primarily Opinion-Based." – Isaac Moses Aug 23 at 15:55
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In the circles in which I travel (American, generally modern/centrist Orthodox), there aren't any particular restrictions on acceptable gifts for a Bat/Bar Mitzva. The types of gifts I've seen most frequently are money, gift cards, Jewish books, and Judaica objects, but I've also seen other kinds of gifts that one might give a young adult of that age on a formal occasion.

For someone coming from outside the Jewish community, money is certainly a safe bet, given its supreme fungibility. Gift cards are almost as safe, provided that they're to stores that it would be appropriate for the celebrant to shop at (e.g., not non-kosher restaurants and not stores that deal primarily in materials that wouldn't be considered appropriate for young adults in the celebrant's community/family). If you're interested in doing something more personal and Judaism-oriented than money, I would recommend visiting a Judaica store or Jewish book store and asking for recommendations. Also, as I said above, general formal-feeling gifts that one would give a young adult of that age are fine, too.

  • Thank you! I'm looking forward to this experience and hoping to learn a lot. – BigMoneySeth Aug 23 at 19:05
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    @BigMoneySeth, another thing to take note of is that many have a custom to give money in multiples of 18 (numerical value of חי chai, life, not to be confused with the tea, which is pronounced differently) – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 23 at 19:31

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