‘Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
Former pop-star Paula Abdul landed in Israel for the first time on Monday, as a guest of the Tourism Ministry, according to The Times of Israel. Abdul met with President Shimon Peres at the beginning of her visit, during which she will meet with Tourism Minister Uzi Landau as well as tour Israel’s sites including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and northern Israel and learn more about Israeli society, fashion, dance, theater and music.
Paula Abdul thanked President Peres for his warm welcome and said, “I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude to be here, I’ve wanted to come for years. My career took me many places and this is my first vacation in almost eight years that I’m actually here to sight-see like a regular tourist. My family was here and they were crying, overwhelmed with joy that I’m here. It’s such an honor, I know already when I have to leave I won’t want to.” During the meeting Abdul asked to see photos of the president’s grandchildren and hear more about life in Israel. She said to President Peres, “Everyone told me you’re so sababa (awesome) and it’s true”
President Peres welcomed Paula Abdul to Israel and said, “We’re very glad to see you here, it’s meaningful and is an opportunity to take a good look at this beautiful country with its long past and great future.” President Peres added that he is sure she will feel the warmth and love of the people of Israel, “I am sure that wherever you go you will feel the warmth and love of the people of Israel, you will feel at home here.”
The 51 year old former singer, dancer and American Idol and X Factor judge will also reportedly finally fulfill a lifelong dream to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall. 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.