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Paula Abdul

JUSTIN CAMPBELL/startraksphoto.com

Paula Abdul is connecting to her Jewish roots and planning an important religious milestone: a belated Bat Mitzvah.

The former American Idol and X-Factor judge is visiting Israel for the first time as an official guest of Israel's ministry of tourism, according to the Associated Press.

"Beyond being Jewish, I've always found myself to be very much in tune with spirituality," the 51-year-old performer said in an interview with the AP.

A Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age ritual, a service and ceremony that usually occurs when the girl is 12 or 13. A Bar Mitzvah is held when a boy is 13.

The TV personality has been taking in the many attractions the country has to offer as a "regular tourist," without the burden of a concert performing schedule. The "Straight Up" singer has spent considerable time in the country's capital, Jerusalem, "visiting holy sites, museums and markets."

She also revealed that she met Israeli President Shimon Peres.

"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," Abdul said. But this experience has been, she says, "the most magnificent trip I've ever taken ... magical and emotional."

Abdul is planning to commemorate her Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Mazel tov, Paula!