Harry Styles of One Direction, considered to be the most successful pop group in the world, has started taking private Hebrew lessons in order to, among other things, be able to read from the Torah.
"Harry took a mission on himself, to learn to speak and write Hebrew by the end of the year," said a friend of the pop star, according to Yedioth Aharonoth.
"His obsession with Judaism started as a joke with several tattoos, but now he's really serious about his Hebrew studies," reports the friend. "He even learned to write his name and the name of the band in Hebrew."
The pop star's friends further reveal that he is trying to eat kosher food at every opportunity. In New York he reportedly eats in many kosher restaurants, prays on Shabbat at his home, and even observed Yom Kippur last year with a final meal before the fast and prayers.
According to the reports, Styles is interested in performing in Israel together with the rest of One Direction, and wants to visit the Jewish holy sites.
Last November it was reported that several pop stars, including Julio Iglesias, Cyndi Lauper, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce, intend to perform in Israel this year in defiance of calls to boycott the country.
Harry, who is 19 years old, first became interested in Judaism from his good friend director Ben Winston, who directed the music video for the group's song "Story Of My Life."
Styles "loves the Jewish community and wears a Magen David (Jewish star) necklace. It's always around his neck and recently he wore it to the Teen Choice Awards," according to Winston.
"All of the band's members love Judaism," said Winston. "They are enthralled by it and enjoy the family atmosphere. Over the years they have become a true part of our family, and they are interested in what we're doing."