David Arquette got more than he bargained for during his first trip to Israel. The “Scream” star came to shoot a segment for his travel show and ended up having a bar mitzvah ceremony.
The 40-year-old Arquette completed the rite of passage June 11 in Jerusalem at the Western Wall.
Arquette, who filed for divorce from former “Friends” star Courteney Cox the same day, is the youngest of the five acting Arquette siblings: Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia and Alexis (who was born Robert). While their father became a Muslim, their mother was born Jewish.
While filming an episode in Jerusalem of his “Mile High” show, which airs on the Travel Channel, Arquette attended a bar mitzvah ceremony and was then asked whether he would like to have one as well.
Dressed in an all-white outfit, Arquette read his first Torah portion ever and placed tefillin on his head and tattooed arm in front of the Western Wall.
“He was very emotional, saying he was happy to be part of the chain of the Jewish people,” said Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, who conducted the ceremony. “I’m very pleased to see a man who is returning to his roots.”
Arquette, described as elusive during his visit, later posted on his Twitter account: “I had my bar mitzvah today at the wall. Finally I’m a man.”
Rabinowitz said Arquette was ashamed by his lack of Jewish knowledge. Born on a commune in Virginia, he had little to do with Judaism. His maternal grandmother was a Holocaust refugee, but his own mother turned away from religion.
Arquette appeared in movies such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Never Been Kissed.” His best-known role was as Dewey Riley in the horror-slasher film franchise “Scream,” where he starred alongside Cox. — ap