A bar mitzvah is a coming-of-age celebration for Jewish boys. It's a big deal and happens when they turn 13 years old.
This joyous occasion calls for acknowledgment from family and friends with gifts and cards. What and how much you give depends on your relationship with the guest of honor.
Although the bar mitzvah celebration happens around the person’s thirteenth birthday, it’s much more significant than a typical birthday party. It marks the boy’s transition into manhood. Being invited to this celebration is an honor. When a Jewish girl comes of age, her celebration is known as a bat mitzvah.
Special Message for a Major Milestone
Since a boy’s bar mitzvah is such an important event, you’ll want to help make it a memorable one in a positive way. Whether you’re in the immediate family, an extended family member, a close friend, or an acquaintance, it’s always appropriate to send a thoughtful message.
Ideas of what you may include in the card:
- Offer congratulations on reaching this milestone.
- Mention something about transitioning from boyhood to manhood.
- Include something about his hopes and dreams.
- Add some sort of inspirational message that he can take with him through life.
- Express your pride in the person he has become.
- You may mention something about your personal relationship with him as long as it's appropriate and won't embarrass him if read aloud.
Card From the Immediate Family
If you are a parent, grandparent, or sibling of a boy celebrating his bar mitzvah, it’s important to express your pride in him as well as your love. Your message can be a long one, but it doesn’t have to be as long as it is sincere and heartfelt. Even if you use a preprinted card, you should add your own thoughts and sentiments.
Here are some messages parents may want to include in a card:
- I am so proud of you, son, for reaching this important milestone in life. As we celebrate your bar mitzvah, know that we see a strong, independent man with a caring heart.
- Mazel tov on your bar mitzvah! Now that you’ve reached this significant milestone in life, remember to always think before you speak, set an example for your sisters and brothers, and lead the way forward with dignity and confidence. We are very proud of you for the man you have become, and we look forward to watching you continue to grow.
- Happy Bar Mitzvah! We are extremely proud of the man you have become. You are a parents’ dream, and we wish you a life filled with much success and happiness.
If you’re a grandparent, consider some of these messages:
- We are proud of the young man you have become. Mazel Tov on your bar mitzvah.
- As we watched you grow into the man you are now, we always thought you were special. Now that you’re celebrating your bar mitzvah, we hope you enjoy a life of happiness and achievement.
- On this special day, we hope for the beginning of a life filled with all the success you have ever hoped for. We couldn’t be prouder grandparents. Mazel tov on your bar mitzvah!
As the sister or brother of someone writing a bar mitzvah card, you may draw inspiration from some of these suggestions:
- Congratulations on your bar mitzvah! You’ve always been a wonderful brother and someone I could always count on for a listening ear and great advice.
- It’s been such a blessing to grow up with you and share experiences only we will ever fully understand. I wish you a very happy bar mitzvah!
- Happy bar mitzvah to the best brother a girl (or guy) could ask for. There is no doubt in my mind that you can be whatever you want to be.
Bar Mitzvah Messages From Extended Family
If you’re an uncle, aunt, cousin, or honorary family member, you’ll want to congratulate this boy’s transition into manhood. Here are some suggestions for bar mitzvah card messages:
- We’ve had the joy of watching you grow from boyhood into manhood through the years, and we’re proud to see who you’ve become. May this day be a blessed one that marks the beginning of much joy. Mazel tov on your bar mitzvah!
- Mazel tov to a wonderful nephew! We hope that this is the beginning of a successful and happy life.
- Your bar mitzvah is special to all of us in the family. We’ve watched you go through your boyhood, and now we are blessed to see you as a man.
Messages From Friends and Acquaintances
Whether you’re a close friend or merely an acquaintance, you’ll probably want to show your support for someone’s bar mitzvah. Whether or not you participate in the Jewish faith, a card with a thoughtful message is always welcome.
Here are some things you can write to a friend:
- I’m so happy that you’re celebrating your bar mitzvah! We’ve been through so much already, and now I look forward to many more experiences to come.
- Congratulations on your bar mitzvah! I’m so happy I got to celebrate this great milestone with you. I wish you many blessings for the future.
- Mazel tov on your bar mitzvah! You have always been such an inspiration to me, and I’m sure you’ll continue being as awesome as ever. I wish you much success and happiness in life.
What You May Include With a Bar Mitzvah Card
When you send a bar mitzvah card, it’s always appropriate to include a gift. This can be an item, but it’s often difficult to know what to buy. However, money is always encouraged.
Traditionally, the financial gift should be in multiples of 18 because that symbolizes giving “Chai,” or life. So instead of giving $30, you’ll give $36 in order to wish him a successful life. Although there is no required limit, the amount you give should be determined by how much you can afford and how close you are to the person.
Remember that a boy’s Bar Mitzvah is a joyful celebration. If you’re comfortable adding humor to the card, go for it. Just make sure it’s appropriate and won’t embarrass him if he reads your words aloud.