ORLANDO -- The Holy Land Museum is the name of a
$10 million, seven-acre attraction planned by Zion's Hope, an
organization of Messianic Jews, which has the aim of converting
Jews to Christianity. It will break ground here later this month
next to Zion's Hope's headquarters overlooking Interstate 4, not
far from an exit under construction.
The museum's site is near Vineland and Conroy roads. Currently
two to four groups per day visit the headquarters without charge.
The structure houses what the organization claims is the largest
replica of first century Jerusalem.
A September 2000 opening is projected, according to the Rev.
Marvin Rosenthal, executive director and founder of Zion's Hope,
who said during an interview that he has escorted groups to the
Holy Land and lectured on cruises.
Admission to the Holy Land Museum, he said, is expected to run
$8 to $12. There will be rates for motorcoach and other groups, he
added. Rosenthal, an ordained Baptist minister who converted from
Judaism, denied allegations by Orlando-area rabbis that the museum
is designed for evangelical purposes using a soft-sell approach
with much emphasis on the Old Testament.
The approach, Rosenthal said, consists of nondenominational
accounts from the Bible, including Jesus Christ, and shouldn't
"offend" anyone. Visitors, of course, are free to draw their own
conclusions after their visit, he said.
More than three hours should be set aside for a visit, Rosenthal
added. The Holy Land Museum experience will include a re-creation
of Jerusalem's six-story Herodian Temple atop Mount Moriah; a Court
of the Nations where concerts and other entertainment will be
presented; a film on the history of the Bible; a village bazaar
re-creation of the streets of ancient Jerusalem; an oasis-themed
cafe, and a 22-minute movie with special effects.
There also will be a Bedouin tent from which Old and New
Testament characters will address visitors. In addition, there will
be indoor and outdoor exhibits and displays, including a replica of
the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus and a replica of
the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Shops will carry merchandise from the Middle East, Rosenthal
Zion's Hope Holy Land Museum
Phone: (407) 239-3236