Israel has the X Factor for Paula and Simon
Paul Abdul and Simon Cowell are both embracing their Jewish roots (Photo: Alison Martin)
Former US X Factor judge and 1980s pop star Paula Abdul arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday ahead of a 10-day trip that will see her tour Israel, meet the president, and even have a batmitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall.
Ms Abdul will be travelling to major sites in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Galilee as a guest of the Ministry of Tourism.
She will visit President Shimon Peres today at his official residence in the capital, before meeting Tourism Minister Uzi Landau and leading figures in Israel’s dance and fashion industries.
Ms Abdul, 51, was born to Jewish parents in Los Angeles, and raised in a Reform community. Last year, she told an audience at a Chabad event in Toronto that it was her dream to have a batmitzvah in Israel.
Meanwhile, Ms Abdul’s former co-judge, Simon Cowell, is also embracing traditional ceremony.
According to reports, the music mogul intends to have a Jewish wedding with his pregnant girlfriend Lauren Silverman next year.
The X Factor boss is apparently planning to take Israeli dance lessons in preparation for the festivities.
This comes a week after Mr Cowell gave a sum of around £150,000 to the Israeli army at an annual fundraising event hosted by the American Friends of the IDF.
He has also spoken of his Jewish roots in the past, saying that his father's Judaism drew him to working with the charity Norwood.