Paula Abdul, 51, Preps for Belated Bat Mitzvah in Israel

Suzy Byrne
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Paula Abdul is connecting with her Jewish roots.

The "American Idol" and "X Factor" alum, 51, is on a religious pilgrimage to Israel during which she plans to have a belated bat mitzvah, the coming of age ritual Jewish girls typically celebrate at age 12 or 13. The ceremony will reportedly take place at the Western Wall.

"Beyond being Jewish, I've always found myself to be very much in tune with spirituality," the "Forever Your Girl" singer said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I feel very grateful coming to Israel now, where as a woman I know who I am a lot more than even 10 years ago."

Abdul isn't the first older, established celebrity to participate in the rite of passage during a trip to Israel. David Arquette, 42, memorably had his bar mitzvah there in 2012.

Since late last week, Abdul has been traveling around the country as a guest of Israel's ministry of tourism. In addition to visiting with President Shimon Peres at his home, the California-born brunette traveled extensively around Jerusalem, going to the Old City, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, Israel Museum, and the Machane Yehuda Market. For a portion of her trip, she stayed at the luxe King David Hotel, happily signing their guest book.

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Another stop was the Dead Sea. Abdul, who will appear as a judge next year on Australia's version of "So You Think You Can Dance," was seen floating in it while wearing a black and red one-piece bathing suit. She was also photographed covering herself with its mineral-rich mud.

"I've traveled the world touring and things like that but I don't get the chance to see much of wherever I'm at," said Abdul, who described the visit as "the most magnificent trip I've ever taken ... magical and emotional."

Mazel tov to her on her special milestone.