(CBS Detroit) — To mark the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, a giant Menorah was lit in downtown Detroit.

The 11th annual “Menorah in the D” event kicked off Sunday, which is also when the holiday started.

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For the next eight days, a candle will be lit on the Menorah.

Huntington Woods native and journalist Danny Fenster helped light one of the eight candles during the holiday celebration on Sunday.

The 37-year-old was recently freed after spending nearly six months in jail in Myanmar. He was one of more than 100 journalists, media officials, and publishers who have been detained in Myanmar since its military ousted the elected government in February.

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Just days before he was released, Fenster was sentenced to 11 years in prison with hard labor.

“It wasn’t a theme I thought about before the timing of my release and the timing of this event, but I think there’s that obvious connection with bringing light to darkness in journalism,” Fenster, who is Jewish, told the Detroit Free Press. “The things that I was arrested for, being part of the news organization that’s trying to shed light on a very dark regime, seems obviously resonant to me.”

“I can’t imagine a better community to come home to,” Fenster said during a reception prior to Sunday’s menorah lighting. “And it’s just made an already great, joyful situation even more joyful. Just had a lot of love and appreciation back home here in Detroit and Metro Detroit, in the Jewish community and the wider community. It’s just been incredible.”

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