Peres is ‘sababa,’ Paula Abdul gushes
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Peres is ‘sababa,’ Paula Abdul gushes

Media personality says she is ‘overwhelmed with gratitude’ on her bat mitzvah visit to Israel

Paula Abdul and President Shimon Peres (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
Paula Abdul and President Shimon Peres (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

Israel’s nonagenarian president Shimon Peres still has what it takes to attract praise from lovely ladies, such as American media personality and entertainer Paula Abdul, who is visiting Israel this week to “learn more about Israeli society, fashion, dance, theater and music,” according to a press release from the president’s office.

Abdul met with Peres on Tuesday and let him know that “everyone told me you’re so sababa, and it’s true,” using the Hebrew slang word for “cool.”

Visiting Israel for the first time after a decades-long career as a dancer, singer, choreographer and, most recently, TV talent show judge, Abdul said she was “overwhelmed with gratitude” to be in Israel, and has “wanted to come for years.”

“I know already when I have to leave, I won’t want to,” she said, noting that the visit was her “first vacation in almost eight years” and that she was looking forward to exploring the country “like a regular tourist.”

Peres told the star he was sure that “wherever you go you will feel the warmth and love of the people of Israel, you will feel at home here.”

Abdul, 51, who was raised in a non-observant, mixed Sephardi-Ashkenazi household in the Los Angeles area, plans to have her long-delayed bat mizvah celebration at the Western Wall during her stay in the country.

She arrived on Monday and was touring major sites in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Galilee, where she plans to spend time at a spa.

Paula Abdul at the New Jersey X factor Auditions 2011 (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Mono, Flickr)
Paula Abdul at the New Jersey ‘X Factor’ auditions 2011 (photo credit: CC BY-SA/Mono/Flickr)

She is spending her evenings at the iconic King David Hotel in Jerusalem. 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.

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