So you’ve got a bar mitzvah card or bat mitzvah card you need to sign? Mazel tov! Not only are these occasions inspiring to see and fun to take part in—they’re also a very big deal in the life of a person of the Jewish faith. When you write a personal message in your card to the bar or bat mitzvah, you’re adding to the joy and significance of their big day.
If you’re stumped on what to write in a bar/bat mitzvah card, this article has writing tips and ideas to get you going.
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But first, here’s a super-quick primer on the celebrations that might help, too:
Bar/bat mitzvah literally translates as “son/daughter of the commandments.” This rite marks their entry as adults into their faith community. These students of the faith put in a lot of hard work preparing for a special Shabbat service at their synagogue, in which they read aloud from the Torah and sometimes lead prayers or chants, too. Traditionally, bar mitzvahs are 13 years old and bat mitzvahs are either 12 or 13. It’s becoming more common for adults to become bar/bat mitzvahs, too, but no matter what the age of your recipient, they will appreciate your recognition and the time and thought you put into giving them a card.
From words of pride to blessings to congratulations, there are all kinds of messages that work well in bar/bat mitzvah cards. And it’s fine to write a little or a lot, depending on how well you know the bar/bat mitzvah themselves. The message ideas below are divided by theme, but you can mix and match to come up with the words that feel just right for you to send.
Literally translated, the Yiddish phrase “mazel tov” means something closer to “good luck,” but it’s more commonly used to congratulate someone. A short mazel tov message by itself works well for a recipient you don’t know as well, but you could also use it to round out a longer message.
- “Mazel tov, Bar Mitzvah!”
- “Best wishes and mazel tov to you as you celebrate your bat mitzvah!”
- “Congratulations and mazel tov, Bar Mitzvah! (I’m so proud of you, I had to say both.)”
- “This day is so meaningful, and you’ve worked so hard for it. Mazel tov.”
- “Congratulations on what you’ve achieved and on stepping into your faith community as an adult today.”
- “Congratulations! Your bat mitzvah marks a huge accomplishment—but it’s only the beginning of all a young woman like you is going to achieve.”
- “Mazel tov! What a happy and unforgettable day this is for you and for all of us who’ve had the joy of watching you grow to be a man.”
Helpful tip: Even for those of us who don’t come from a Jewish faith tradition, “mazel tov” is one in-culture phrase that’s easy to say or write without feeling awkward or like we’re trying too hard. But go with your gut—if “congratulations” feels more you, then go with that.
A heartfelt wish is another great thing to write in a bar/bat mitzah card. You could make it a wish for the big day itself or go bigger and make a hopeful wish for the bar/bat mitzvah’s future.
- “Wishing you so much happiness as you celebrate your bat mitzvah!”
- “May the wisdom you’ve learned studying for your bar mitzvah guide you all your days.”
- “We wish you an unforgettable bar mitzvah celebration and all the best in the exciting years ahead of you.”
- “Love, blessings and best wishes to you, Bat Mitzvah!”
- “Hoping your bar mitzvah day is a proud and happy one for you!”
- “Mazel tov, Bat Mitzvah. May you continue to grow in wisdom and faith from this day on.”
- “Wishing you a great time celebrating your bar mitzvah…I hope it’s a day you’ll always look back on with pride and happiness.”
Helpful tip: First timer? If so, you could make an added connection by mentioning that in what you write: “Your bar mitzvah is the first one I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to. It’s such an honor to be a part of it. Thanks for including me in your big day!”
One does not become a bar/bat mitzvah simply by showing up on the big day. There is diligent study and preparation involved, and that’s worthy of a callout. You might choose to highlight all the hard work and schvitzing (sweating) with a message of pride or with a compliment for the bar/bat mitzvah.
- “So proud of the dedicated way you’ve prepared for this day. Great job—and mazel tov!”
- “We were always proud of the girl you were, and we’re even prouder of the woman you become today.”
- “No one could have worked harder or done more to deserve this day. Way to show what you’re made of!”
- “I hope you feel proud of yourself as you wear the tallit and read from the Torah. And I hope you feel how proud you’ve made everyone around you, too.”
- “A bar mitzvah is more than a party. It’s an important step in your faith and a big accomplishment, too. So mazel tov and hats off to you!”
- “It’s so much fun to congratulate a bat mitzvah as smart and talented as you! Celebrating you today and looking forward to watching your life unfold in amazing ways.”
- “If ever a bar mitzvah deserved a great party, it’s you! Enjoy it! You’ve earned it!”
- “It’s no easy thing to stand up and be the center of attention on your bat mitzvah day, but we know how hard you’ve worked, and we know you’re going to do yourself and your family proud.”
Helpful tip: If it’s helpful, you could think of a bar/bat mitzvah as a little like a graduation. Of course, a bar/bat mitzvah has a spiritual significance that graduations don’t have. However, the sense of a worthy goal achieved, of pride in hard work and of a young person moving on to a new stage in their life—all these things hold true for both occasions.
Celebrating the faith and deep-rooted traditional aspects of a bar/bat mitzvah is another great way to go with your message. And luckily, you don’t have to have a rabbi’s understanding of the occasion to write something that’s both honoring and meaningful.
- “Here’s to you, Bat Mitzvah—shining bright today and carrying the light of faith into tomorrow.”
- “What a joy it is to welcome a young man like you to our community of faith. Mazel tov.”
- “Warmest congratulations on your bar mitzvah. It’s inspiring to think of you taking your place in your faith community and carrying on such an enduring tradition.”
- “Mazel tov, Bat Mitzvah. God bless you and guide you today and always.”
- “Today you follow in the footsteps of so many generations who came before you…and step into a future made brighter by your love for your faith, your family and your community.”
- “Blessings on you as you celebrate your bat mitzvah.”
- “Hoping you learned lessons that will always stay with you as you studied and prepared for your bar mitzvah. May the Torah’s teachings continue to guide you and bring you happiness throughout your life.”
- “Congratulations on your bat mitzvah! What a wonderful way to honor your rich heritage and celebrate your faith.”
Helpful tip: As part of the occasion, a bar/bat mitzvah will sometimes declare a cause that they plan to advocate for. It’s one way of embracing their new adult status and doing some real good with it. It’s a very cool thing—and it may inspire some new thoughts for you as you think about what you want to write.
Even though a bar/bat mitzvah is a serious occasion, there’s still room for a little good-natured humor—especially if you know the bar/bat mitzvah well and have a good sense of what they’d find funny. Money is a customary gift for a bar/bat mitzvah, so it’s an especially easy way to infuse a little humor into your written message.
- “Today you begin your journey into womanhood…but somehow you still have a 10 p.m. curfew. Oh well. One step at a time, right?”
- “Happy bar mitzvah! Have the most fun a guy can have with all your family right there watching your every move.”
- With money/gift card enclosed: “First of all, so proud of you! Second—and more importantly—here’s a little something to show you just how proud.”
- With money/gift card enclosed: “Hope the happy bat mitzvah glow just lasts and lasts. (This little gift is meant to help with that!)”
- With money/gift card enclosed: “For all that extra wisdom you’ve stored away in your heart…here’s a little extra cash for your pocket. Mazel tov!”
- “There’s never, ever been a bar mitzvah quite like you! (That’s supposed to be a compliment, in case you couldn’t tell.)”
- “Okay, so great new dress, cute shoes, awesome party…I’m a little jealous that I didn’t get all this when I was 13. Okay, a LOT jealous. But I’m still so happy for you! Mazel tov!”
Helpful tip: Joking about gifts and celebrating is one thing. Summoning up offensive stereotypes or poking fun at Jewish culture is another—and should absolutely be avoided. When in doubt, skip the funny and keep your message straightforward.
A warm closing before your signature provides a nice finishing touch for your bar/bat mitzvah message. Choose one of ours or come up with one of your own.
- Mazel tov,
- Warmest congratulations,
- With love,
- Lots of love,
- Love always,
- Much love to you,
- All my/our love,
- Love you,
- All the best,
- God bless,
- So proud,
- Proud of you,
- With pride and best wishes,