Gifts for Jewish grooms

30th Jul 2021

Here in Eretz Yisrael, there is a certain protocol for gift exchanges between the bride and groom at the engagement party ("Vort"). In the chareidi community, typically the groom's family will gift the kallah a gold watch and other jewelry items, whereas the bride's family will present the chassan with a set of Gemaras, and sometimes other gifts as well. That's how it was back in my day, when I got married.

Personalize Tallit & Tefillin Bags

Nowadays, it seems the gift giving conventions have become more extensive and creative. At an engagement party this week, which came to my attention, the bride's family presented a range of gifts all arrangement nicely in clear cellophane and put on display. It included a tallit and tefillin bag set with name embroidery, cuff links, a tie and more.

(Personally I have some qualms about the display: On one hand, it boosts the honor of the groom, but on the other hand I'm wondering if it could sometimes come to the point of conspicuous consumption that ups the ante and might make future grooms have expectations that are hard for their in-laws-to-be to meet.)

Of course, outside of Israel the customs and expectations differ, and obviously vary from one Jewish community to the next. Other gift ideas include a set of Machzorim or silver candlesticks for her; a shtender, etrog box, Megillah case or Kiddush cup for him. Sometimes the gift expectations are even negotiated in advance.