bar mitzvah in Philly

Oct 11th, 2001, 09:11 AM
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bar mitzvah in Philly

We're neither Jewish nor American, but will be attending a bar mitzvah in the suburbs of Philadelphia (Chester County). Can anyone recommend (a) a good hotel in the $100-$150 range, and (b) an appropriate gift for the boy. By the way, if this matters, it appears this is going to be a really big, extravagant event at an upscale country club.
Oct 11th, 2001, 09:30 AM
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I live in Chester County. It's a big county, could you narrow it down a bit?
Oct 11th, 2001, 09:36 AM
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can the family suggest a hotel. you should be able to get something in your pricerange in the suburbs. you can probably get a good deal on priceline. as far as a gift, give cash. these parties can be like weddings, some more extravagant than others. These kids usually get more gift certificates than they can ever use, at least cash they can put in the bank. as far as amount, I generally give more to closer friends or relatives and also consider if I'm invited with or w/o my kids.
Oct 11th, 2001, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for the advice so far. As for the location, we think it's near the Westtown area.

Appreciate the guidance on the gift but am still left with a question: How much? The boy's father and I have a business relationship. We're not related or close friends, though we have socialized with the parents once in a while for business reasons. I was thinking of a $100 US Savings bond. Sound about right?
Oct 11th, 2001, 11:30 AM
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Ivan: Regarding the gift, your relationship with the father should only matter in deciding to go or not. Once you decide to go, then the size of an appropriate gift is really a personal matter. Since you say it is going to be "an extravagant event", I wouldn't give less than $200 for you and your guest. As I recall a $100 savings bond costs substantially less than $100, isn't that the case? If it were me, I wouldn't spend less than $200 out of pocket for a gift.

On the other hand, since you only have a business relationship with the father you might want to skip it all together and send a less expensive gift to the son.
Oct 11th, 2001, 11:42 AM
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$100 is a perfectly accebtable gift for someone who isn't espcially close to the boy himself UNLESS you are extremely
wealthy and or trying to make a big impression on the parents. I don't think you need to scale your gift to the extravagance of the parents who are hosting the event--that is their pleasure and right.
Poster above was correct that a $100 bond costs only $50, so make it a $200 bond. If you know enough about the interests of the bar mitzvah boy, you could try a gift certificate to an appropriate place e.g. a computer chain, , music storeonline store such as or similar. Try to avoid gifts that used to be popular such as expensive pens-- most 13 y/o biys don't have any use for such things
Oct 11th, 2001, 11:53 AM
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$100 gift(=$ 200 savings bond is perfectably acceptable.

Janie is right, however, that a more personal gift to the Bar Mitzvah boy will be appreciated by him. Cash & savings bonds just seem to go into a college fund. A gift certificate geared to the boy's interest will have immediate appeal( sports, camera, computers, etc)
Oct 11th, 2001, 12:28 PM
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Speaking as one who is Jewish and attended far too many bar mitzvah's, I'd suggest a check. It's a standard thing to do. Not a savings bond -- sorry, but they are lousy investments. $100 is appropriate unless you are close, very generous or trying to make an impression. The fact that you are traveling from such a distance has already made an impression, I should hope.

Oct 11th, 2001, 12:39 PM
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$100 is very appropriate unless this is a huge business relationship. Also, anthing using the number 18 is good. 18 symbolizes "chai" in Judiasm, good luck or good life, so $118 is a good number. My son was a Bar Mitzvah a few years ago and I've another to go. He really liked gift certificates (5 different $18 ones is a neat gift), and also many of the gifts. Here's some favorites...binoculars, camera, watch, telescope, walkie talkies, sports equipment, Oakley sunglasses. I like the gifts better than cash because as other posters have said, that money usually goes right in the bank. The gifts he gets to keep and use and remember you by. Back to the amount, I suspect in some of the larger and wealthier settings, $200 is the going rate, but dont give that if it's out of your budget. Enjoy. Also, it should be noted that it is somewhat rude to just attend the "party" and not go to the Bar Mitzvah service itself.
Oct 12th, 2001, 06:15 AM
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Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions. We definitely are going, as we'll be in the US for business as the same time. I especially like the idea of using "18" as the basis for a gift. Shalom!

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