The Cambodian royal family celebrated its first Bat Mitzvah (coming of age party) last week. Elior Koroghli is the great-granddaughter of Sisowath Monivong who was the King of Cambodia from 1927 until his death in 1941.
Elior is the daughter of Ray (Rahamim), a Persian Jew, and Susie (Sarah Bracha), the daughter of the Cambodian ambassador to the United States, who grew up in a Buddhist home (her father was a monk) but converted to Judaism. Ray came to the U.S. to study, remaining in the wake of the 1979 Iranian revolution. Susie had been told that she was from royalty but never visited Cambodia until 2012 when she represented her mother at the funeral of HM Norodom Sihanouk.
The Koroghlis are very active in the Las Vegas Jewish community and were honored by the religious school as such two years ago. Their home reflects their high-level of family-centered observance and they typically have 15-30 guests at their sabbath table.
Jewish women come of age at 12 years old, at which time they are responsible for observing all the mitzvoth (Torah commandments) incumbent upon Jewish women. The Koroghi family currently resides in Las Vegas which is where they celebrated Elior’s Bat Mitzvah in its proper time on the fifth night of the holiday of Hannukah.
But they held an additional celebration in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, last week, inviting their royal relatives. The entirely kosher event was cooked by the Chabad House, a Jewish outreach service run by the Chabad branch of Hasidic Judaism, and was held at the Raffles Hotel, The event was attended by the current ruler HM King Norodom Sihamoni and the queen mother, HM Norodom Monineath.