American singer, dancer and choreographer Paula Abdul begins her first visit to Israel on Monday, during which she will celebrate her bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. So what if she is already 51 years old?
Abdul, whose parents are both Jewish, got on a plane from Los Angeles to Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday night. She is arriving as a guest of the Tourism Ministry and, in addition to the Western Wall coming of age ceremony, will fulfill another dream during her visit: A meeting with President Shimon Peres.
She is also expected to meet with Tourism Ministry Uzi Landau.
Abdul has said previously that she always felt proud being Jewish. She was raised in a Reform community and strengthened her faith following a meeting with Rabbi Chaim Mentz, who established the Chabad center of Bel Air in Los Angeles.
Abdul declared her desire to hold a bar mitzvah ceremony in Jerusalem on the "American Idol" reality-singing competition, where she served as a judge before moving to "The X Factor."
About a year ago, during a Chabad fundraiser in Toronto, she even stated: "I am a Chabadnik!"