Adults only: 13 awesome Bar and Bat Mitzvah gift ideas

    Back in my day (circa 1982), the array of Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts we’re pretty much limited to cash, savings bonds, Cross pen sets, jewelry, important books, luggage, binoculars and cameras. It wasn’t until the 90s when things really started getting interesting. Budgets and desires seemed to rise, and in addition to the traditional gifts, the latest gadgets joined the list too; MP3 players, motorized scooters and more.

    Here’s a list of 13 gift ideas sure to make the Bar or Bat Mitzvah in your life feel like the smart young adult they’ve just become:

    1Cash is still king

    Easy to wrap, guaranteed to fit, and if he/she already has some they can always use more. Assuming mom and dad are like mine, that money will go right into a savings account that will likely become the downpayment for a car, or an amazing post-college trip to Europe. Give it in multiples of 18 (C’hai) with wishes for a long and happy life! ($36 / $72 / $180 / $360)

    2iPhone X

    A true marker of adulthood, the cellphone has become so much more than a communication device. And this September, the iPhone X will be coming out in a budget version, making it much more accessible. Assuming you have parental permission, this will be an unforgettable and life-changing gift — for better or worse.

    3Hoverboard

    Old school skateboards are so childish! (apparently) For the young adult who’s ready to up their “board” game the GOTRAX Hoverfly ECO Hover Board comes in blue and pink (plush a bunch of other fun colors) and is designed to help you become a master faster. (Knee-pads, helmet, and wrist guards not included.)

    4Sony PS4 (or the next version, when it comes out)

    What 13-year-old boy can resist the ultimate video game console, beloved by grown men everywhere. Perhaps not the most social gift, but it tops the list of most requested gifts by Bar Mitzvahs.

    5Apple Watch

    The perfect gift for a young adult with lots of text messages, music and activities to make the most of their busy life. And this gift doesn’t have to break the bank. The Apple Watch Series 1, offers most of the great features of the Series 3 at a fraction of the price. (I found mine at Walmart for $149 for the 38mm and $179 for the 42mm — that’s just $1 away from a $180 gift!)

    6Cornhole

    No young adult can resist Cornhole, especially during a summer party or tailgate. Give your Bar or Bat Mitzvah the perfect game to make parties big and small a blast. You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy this — trust me, I have zero eye-hand coordination and even I love this game!

    What young adult doesn’t need to gain some perspective on the world? And what better way to see things differently than with your very own drone. The technology and production of these sky-high cameras have exploded, and now there is a style and price range for just about anyone, even newbies.

    8Atypical jewelry

    While the classic gifts from Tiffany’s are still popular — who doesn’t love getting one of those pretty blue boxes — there are some fantastic Israeli jewelry designers who’s work is available here in the U.S. (Etsy has a great Israeli Designer marketplace with hamsas c’hais, olive branch ear clips and more. I love these Sterling Silver Wheat Earrings from designer Sarah Feld.

    9Gold Beats Wireless Headphones

    Nothing says you’re an adult quite like a pair of super high-end wireless headphones. The Beats Solo3 On-Ear-Wireless headphones come in all sorts of fab color combinations, and include a long battery life, super fast charging and sound quality that truly rocks — perfect for listening to the soundtrack of your life.

    10Smart TV

    For my Bat Mitzvah, dear family friends gave my very first television. It was black and white, portable, and had an 8″ screen — it was from that tiny screen that I started watching David Letterman before bed. Today, no young adult should have to suffer like that. The age of Smart TVs is fully upon us, with quality and functionality reaching a new zenith, while prices reach new lows.

    11The Whole World in their hands

    This living EcoSphere contains a beautiful, self-sufficient little world, that requires no maintenance. Available in various sizes and prices, the EcoSphere Closed Aquatic Ecosystem will put everything into perspective for the more sophisticated Bar or Bat Mitzvah on your list.

    12Backgammon

    I’ve found no matter how old I get, games are still a big part of my life. A nice backgammon set can really go the distance. From travel sets to full-sized boards, there’s sure to be a color, size and style that will prove delightful — and maybe even profitable if the doubling cube comes into play.

    13Plant a tree in Israel

    IMHO, this classic gift never gets old, especially for the environmentally conscious young adult in your life. The Jewish National Fund Tree Center makes it easy to click and order a tree and official certificate, starting at just $18. Perfect, right? It says so much, and costs so little!

    Amy Katzenberg is a nice Jewish girl from New York City. She was a founding editor of About.com, and has worked for an array of digital publications. A lifelong member of the Clean Plate Club, Amy loves to eat good food all over the world.