The Lovely Little Town I Work In

Posted on March 11, 2021


By David Ettinger

For the past 8-plus years, I have had the privilege of working for Zion’s Hope, Inc., a Christian ministry to the Jewish people.

We are the same ministry that created The Holy Land Experience in 2001, but before that, the ministry began in 1990 when Marv Rosenthal left his former ministry – Friends of Israel in New Jersey – and started Zion’s Hope in Orlando, Florida.

Our ministry also produces the magazine Zion’s Fire, with a worldwide circulation of 60,000. I have written for ZF since its 1990 inception.

We’ve relocated several times over the years, and since 2012 we’ve been in Old Winter Garden, Florida – 15 miles from Universal Studios, and 18 miles from Disney World.

Strolling amid the quaintness of our 4-block haven, you’d never know we were so near those world-famous destinations, but apparently people DO know. We are the home to many tourists – particularly our friends from the U.K. as well as the 50 states ­– as they love the laid-back atmosphere and surprisingly abundant amount of eateries that line our streets.

Wonderfully, Old Winter Garden has done very well during the Covid-19 pandemic as not a single business has had to close. In fact, a new one even opened! There are several reasons for this:

1. The sensible policies of Governor Ron DeSantis. Under his leadership, Florida has been restricted, but not locked down. Businesses stayed open while we adhered to logical mask and social-distancing practices.

2. Our year-round weather made it possible to comfortably eat outdoors. The city wisely blocked off parking spots and turned them into dining areas, as you can see in some of the pictures.

3. The goodwill of the residents of nearby communities as they shop and eat here frequently, keeping business flowing. Despite the pandemic, people have been visiting Downtown Winter Garden often and have been spending money.

So, if you are ever in the Orlando area, please consider visiting our little haven. If you let me know, I can join you for lunch – on you, of course. (Just kidding.)

Enjoy the pictures!