The granddaughter of a Cambodian princess had a bat mitzvah
Members of the Cambodian royal family gathered last month at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh for a celebration. There was music, traditional Cambodian dance performances and plenty of food.
The occasion? The coming-of-age party of the granddaughter of one of the princesses. Well, a bat mitzvah to be exact.
The celebrant, Elior Koroghli, is the the great-granddaughter of the late King Sisowath Monivong, who reigned from 1927 to 1941. She is also an Orthodox Jew.
The 13-year-old grew up in Las Vegas, the daughter of Monivong’s granddaughter Sathsowi Thay Koroghli, who converted to Judaism as an adult, and Ray Koroghli, a Persian Jew. While in Cambodia for the bat mitzvah, the Koroghlis met with the current king and queen mother, and the extended family posed for a photograph, the tzitzit fringes worn by Elior’s brothers clearly visible in the frame.
The festivities reflected the various parts of her heritage. Elior wore both a traditional Cambodian costume and a sparkly bat mitzvah dress. She lit a menorah — the celebration took place during Hanukkah — and performed a Persian-style candle-lighting ceremony. And she played traditional Jewish, Persian and Cambodian songs on the piano, including the classic “Hava Nagila.”