The “Scream” star came to shoot a segment for his travel show and ended up having a bar mitzvah ceremony, too.
The 40-year-old Arquette completed the Jewish rite of passage Monday in Jerusalem at the Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews to pray.
Arquette, who recently split with former “Friends” star Courtney Cox, 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, making the children Jewish under religious law.
Jewish boys typically celebrate their bar mitzvah at 13, the age when they are obligated to perform Jewish commandments.
While filming an episode in Jerusalem of his “Mile High” show, which airs on the Travel Channel, Arquette attended a 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 phylacteries on his head and tattooed arm in front of the Western Wall, the lone retaining wall left from the second Jewish Temple compound.
“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, who has been 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 refugee of the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, but his own mother turned away from religion.
Arquette later went on to appear in TV series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and in movies like “Never Been Kissed.” His best-known role was as Dewey Riley in the horror/slasher film franchise “Scream,” where he starred alongside his ex-wife.