Paula Abdul has been bat mitzvahed!
Abandoning earlier plans for a high-profile bat mitzvah at the Western Wall during her trip to Israel, Paula Abdul instead celebrated a more private coming-of-age ceremony over the weekend in the northern town of Safed, a center of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.
CBS News reported that Israel's Tourism Ministry announced that she had made the last-minute change to her itinerary due to jet-lag. Her officiating Rabbi, Eyal Riess of the Tzfat Kabbalah Center, said that Abdul wanted to escape the "media circus" that has characterized her visit, and have a more intimate ceremony.
Video footage shows her wrapped in a tallit, or prayer shawl, as she recited traditional prayers. Her rabbi said that the celebrations lasted almost three hours, and involved lots of klezmer music, reports Haaretz.
A bat mitzvah is a coming-of-age ceremony for girls that is observed within Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative tradition. The ritual usually takes place when a girl turns twelve or thirteen, and marks her recognition in the Jewish tradition as an adult. The ceremony often involves reading a portion of the Torah, leading specific prayers, learning traditional chants, giving a speech, and completing a charity project.