First Communion and B'nai Mitzvah gifts

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  • 1 Post By Eilonwy
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We have three celebrations coming up. The First Communion parties are informal affairs at the homes of two of the children and the B'nai Mitzvah is a big affair at a Jewish rec center. I want to give all three kids money, but I'm not sure what's an appropriate amount. Is $50 for each too little? Should the B'nai Mitzvah gift be a greater amount since it's a formal affair? Also, it's for twin boys, but my son is only friends with one of the boys. I was only planning to give a gift to my son's friend.

I'm in NY, if that makes any difference.
I'm confused. How many kids are receiving first communion and how many are becoming a bar/bat mitzvah?

I think $54 would be nice for the bar/bat mitzvah, since 54 = 18 * 3. The Hebrew letters are also numbers, just like Roman numerals. The letters of "Chai," the word for "life," add up to 18. So giving a multiple of 18 is like wishing the recipient a long life.

I've never been to a first communion, so I don't know what's appropriate for that.
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Last edited by Eilonwy; 04-19-2012 at 11:44 AM.
I'm confused. How many kids are receiving first communion and how many are becoming a bar/bat mitzvah?

I think $54 would be nice for the bar/bat mitzvah, since 54 = 18 * 3. The Hebrew letters are also numbers, just like Roman numerals. The letters of "Chai," the word for "life," add up to 18. So giving a multiple of 18 is like wishing the recipient a long life.

I've never been to a first communion, so I don't know what's appropriate for that.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Sorry about that. Two girls are receiving First Communion. The B'nai Mitzvah is for twin brothers but my son is only friends with one of them.

Thanks for the information on the significance of Chai. I will make sure to keep that in mind.
Oh, "chai" isn't a proper noun. I capitalized it, but that was just a typo
I think $50 is a generous gift for either occasion - it doesn't matter that one is a more formal party than the other, that's on the parents as to how much they want to spend.

I don't know what I'd do about the twins, I think I'd feel awkward just bringing a gift for one? Do you know the parents of any other kids that are attending so you can ask what they plan to do?
I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
Oh, "chai" isn't a proper noun. I capitalized it, but that was just a typo
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
You're funny. I like you.
I think $50 is a generous gift for either occasion - it doesn't matter that one is a more formal party than the other, that's on the parents as to how much they want to spend.

I don't know what I'd do about the twins, I think I'd feel awkward just bringing a gift for one? Do you know the parents of any other kids that are attending so you can ask what they plan to do?
Originally Posted by rileyb
Riley, this is a boy my son knows from summer camp. They see each other for 7 weeks each year, but they don't keep in touch during the school year, or even talk on the phone. I'm kind of surprised Josh invited my son. Josh's brother had a different major, so he wasn't in my son's group. My son only knows him in passing.

I was pretty sure I was giving a gift to just my son's friend, but now you've got me thinking.
I think these customs (the gifts, not the religious events) vary by region so you would probably do better to ask in your local community.
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I've only been to Bar/Bat Mitzvahs of family members, and it was when I was a kid. I know that my parents gave $100ish to each kid - second cousins, I think. I think $50 from a friend is more than enough. Maybe think about how much you'd spend for another child's 13th birthday party, which is essentially what this is.

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