After a delay of almost four decades, American singer and reality-show star Paula Abdul, 51, will finally realize her dream of celebrating her bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Abdul, who became famous in the 1990s as a singer and, more recently, for her role on “American Idol” and “The X Factor,” was to arrive in Israel Monday as a guest of the Tourism Ministry and celebrate the milestone during this, her first visit to the country, according to a ministry statement.
Abdul is expected to tour major sites in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Galilee, where she plans to spend time at a spa. She will be spending her evenings at the iconic King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where she and her entourage have reportedly booked nine rooms.
According to Dror Danino, manager of the King David, Abdul has been given the hotel’s bridal suite. “The hotel has chosen the suite with panoramic — and the best — views of the Old City walls to enhance her stay,” Danino said.
Abdul will be meeting with President Shimon Peres at his official residence on Tuesday morning. During her trip, she will also meet with Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, as well as leading figures in Israel’s dance and fashion industries, from whom — according to sources at the Tourism Ministry — she is eager to learn more.
And she needn’t worry about looking good: She has requested a hair stylist to be on call 24/7 for the entire stay.
Abdul was born to Jewish parents and grew up in a Reform community. She has also been connected to the Los Angeles Chabad Rabbi Chaim Mentz and took part in a Chabad fundraiser last November in Toronto.
Also in the news, speculation has ramped up that pop star Beyonce may plan an Israel concert in 2014.
Israeli production companies are reportedly battling to secure the potential show, which would likely take place at Tel Aviv’s Ganei Yehoshua, the only venue capable of holding some 50,000 concert-goers. There are no fewer than five candidates currently vying for the opportunity to cash in, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.