Danny Fenster lighting Detroit menorah after being freed from Myanmar prison

With tonight being the first night of Hanukkah, organizers wanted to honor someone who never let go of their faith in an unpredictable situation.

What better person than journalist Danny Fenster?

“I spent the flight home reading about this. I didn’t realize it has been the story that it was,” said Fenster.

Danny Fenster spoke candidly for the first time after spending 176 days in a Myanmar prison.

“It’s overwhelming in a good way. Things have calmed down a little bit,” said Fenster.

On Sunday, the Jewish community here in Detroit is literally holding him high on a pedestal, allowing him to light the 26-foot-tall menorah in the middle of Campus Martius Park.

“It’s one of several communities that have shown incredible support and if they want to honor me, that’s humbling,” said Fenster.

Getting to this point was not easy. Fenster credits his wife Julia with keeping him alive while he was in a dark place. Both were able to be reunited just in time for Thanksgiving this past Thursday.

“My wife was in Yengon and she was coming every other week, bringing food parcels, bringing letters, and that’s really what kept me alive in there and really sustained me,” said Fenster.

He’s also thrilled to have not only the support of Detroit’s local community, but followers all across the world.

“I can’t imagine a better community to come home to. It’s just made a great situation even more joyful,” said Fenster.

Fenster said he’s still committed to Frontier Myanmar - the company he was working with when he was detained. As far as what’s next for Fenste, he said he doesn’t know, but will be taking life one step at a time.

More: Danny Fenster back in US, speaks about his time in Myanmar jail


About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.