Singer Paula Abdul is reconnecting with her Jewish roots and planning a belated Bat Mitzvah, almost four decades after the ceremony is traditionally held.
The Opposites Attract hitmaker is currently on her very first trip to Israel, serving as a guest of the country's ministry of tourism. In addition to visiting holy sites and touring the area, Abdul is reaffirming her Jewish faith by undergoing the coming-of-age ceremony, which is usually celebrated by 12 to 13-year-old girls.
Traditionally, the Jewish ritual involves reading a portion of the Torah, leading prayers and completing a charity project, but the 51 year old will be holding her belated ceremony at the country's sacred Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Last week (29Oct13), she shared her excitement for her visit with Israel's Haaretz newspaper, saying, "From age 17 I have been working, and haven't taken a vacation for eight years. I knew when I had the chance I would come to Israel and see it like a regular tourist. Today I am fulfilling the dream and am very excited to be in Israel."
She now tells the Associated Press, "Beyond being Jewish, I've always found myself to be very much in tune with spirituality. I feel very grateful coming to Israel now, where as a woman I know who I am a lot more than even 10 years ago."