The granddaughter of a Cambodian princess had a bat mitzvah

Elior Koroghli wears a traditional Cambodian costume at her bat mitzvah party in Phnom Penh. (Kang Predi and Teh Ranie)

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.”

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