Madonnam with Shimon Peres and her husband, Guy Ritchie. (The Associated Press)

Jerusalem — Madonna toasted the Jewish new year with Israeli President Shimon Peres and declared herself an "ambassador for Judaism," local newspapers reported Sunday.

The singer, who is not Jewish, arrived in Israel Wednesday on the eve of Jewish new year to attend a conference on Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism.

Madonna met Peres at his official Jerusalem residence on Saturday evening and the two exchanged gifts, with Madonna receiving a lavishly bound copy of the Jewish Bible.

She gave Peres a volume of "The Book of Splendor," the guiding text of Kabbalah, inscribed "To Shimon Peres, the man I admire and love, Madonna," the Yediot Ahronot daily reported.

A Peres aide confirmed the meeting but had no details.

"You don't know how popular the Book of Splendor is among Hollywood actors," Yediot quoted Madonna as telling Peres.

"Everyone I meet talks to me only about that. I am an ambassador for Judaism." Madonna, who was raised a Roman Catholic, has taken the Hebrew name Esther, and has been seen wearing a red thread on her wrist in a Jewish tradition to ward off the evil eye.

But her interest in Kabbalah in recent years has been criticized by Orthodox Jews, who say it is an abomination.

Other celebrities who flew in for the Kabbalah conference included movie star Demi Moore and her husband, actor Ashton Kutcher, Rosie O'Donnell and fashion designer Donna Karan. Madonna came with her film director husband Guy Ritchie.