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May 29, 2016 6:29 am

Ahead of ‘Celebrate Israel’ Parade, ‘Today’ Host Calls Holy Land ‘Heaven on Earth’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Kathie Lee Gifford said being in Israel is her idea of "Heaven on earth." Photo: Twitter.

Kathie Lee Gifford said being in Israel is her idea of “Heaven on earth.” Photo: Twitter.

Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of NBC‘s morning show Today, talked to The Algemeiner on Friday about her passion for Israel, ahead of next week’s pro-Jewish state parade in New York City, which she will lead as honorary grand marshal.

“My love for the holy land and its people has only grown with each subsequent visit, as has my knowledge of the word of God that I come to study,” she said. “My idea of heaven on earth is being in the land, studying the word, in my dusty, sturdy hiking books. Maybe I’ll wear them up Fifth Avenue!”

Gifford, who is not Jewish, added that she is “honored” to lead the 2016 Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 5.

The Today co-host has been visiting Israel since the age of 17, when she missed her high school graduation so she could attend the first Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy. During her most recent trip to Israel, in March, she returned to her morning show bearing gifts for co-anchor Hoda Kotb.

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