Bar Mitzvah gift and attire

Our teenager is attending their first Bar Mitzvah. Our family is culturally Jewish on one side, but we have not been to a Bar Mitzvah in the Bay Area (only in New England) and our children will not be called to the Torah, so we’re a bit at a loss on a couple of things. 

One: what are some appropriate (and fun) gift ideas?

Two: what are boys wearing to Bar Mitzvahs (the party, not the service) these days? 

Three: any tips on encouraging a (reluctant) teen to learn some dance moves, or can you(r teen) suggest what moves are popular?


im glad I’m not 13 anymore

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RE: Bar Mitzvah gift and attire ()

We are not Jewish but both of my kids have attended several Bat/Bar Mitzvahs in Berkeley. They always gave money. Usually $18, sometimes more depending on the friendship. My son wore nice dark jeans and a white collared shirt to the party. And I would just leave them alone re: dancing. That sounds horrifying lol. 

RE: Bar Mitzvah gift and attire ()

As much as I hate giving cash, for bar/bat mitzvot we always opted for a nice card with a check or cash in one of the "lucky" chai amounts (multiples of 18) - usually $36/$54/$72 depending on how well we knew the kid, about the same as I would for a birthday party, but I'm probably on the cheap side. It's been a few years, but my boys always wore khaki-ish pants (but with the better slimmer/jeans-like fit - I don't know what you'd call them technically - the kind of thing H&M sells), a button-down shirt and sometimes a tie, which usually ended up stuffed in a pocket - about what he'd wear to something like the 8th-grade dance. It seemed to be pretty much the uniform for boys. As for dancing. that only happens in a few years when it's worth it to impress someone they're interested in. Until then most middle-school boys huddle up and try to seem inconspicuous at dances. :) But I think the simple side-to-side shuffle that guys have been doing since rock music was invented will still get him pretty far.