How a little boy’s Hanukkah wish turned into a light show that lights up Brooklyn

Yes, Harrison, Hanukkah is definitely on fire now.

On December 23, 1997, Harrison Fuchs of Midwood, Brooklyn, lamented that his neighborhood was flooded in the glow of the Christmas lights, but the Festival of Lights got no respect.

In a letter to The Post, the Rodney Dangerfield from his kindergarten class admitted: “It’s very hard being a 5-year-old Jewish boy at this time of year.”

“I get very sad when I drive my car in Brooklyn and look at all the lights and decorations hanging across the avenues,” the little boy wrote, adding, “I didn’t see any decorations hanging across the streets that would have made me think about Hanukkah. I love all the lights and decorations. But I don’t understand why its [sic] Don’t put any six-pointed stars, menorahs or dreidels on there.”

Harrison, now 30, says he’s still amazed.

“It just struck me as odd that there was such a flood of Christmas stuff with no Jewish representation,” he told the Post.

A year after the little boy’s thoughtful letter to the post office, his parents took action to address the lack of Hanukkah glitter by decorating the outside of their home. The tradition has crept into what is now known as the Hanukkah House, attracting countless visitors each year.

Harrison Fuchs poses with his New York Post letter dated December 23, 1997.
Harrison Fuchs poses with his New York Post letter dated December 23, 1997.
Paul Martinka
Harrison Fox
Harrison Fox is an actor/playwright deceased by Harrison Bryan.
Paul Martinka

The dazzling array of blue and white lights in front of inflatable menorahs, dreidels and man on a bench draws visitors from Queens, Long Island and Connecticut and even Israel.

“I never wanted him to think Hanukkah was a second-rate holiday,” said mother Gail, who also introduced the “Hanukkah fairy” to her son and older daughter.

“She was like the tooth fairy — she was magical,” Harrison marveled.

Harrison Fox

Fuchs’ parents took the initiative to decorate the outside of their home.


Harrison Fox

As a young boy, Fuchs never saw houses with Hanukkah decorations outside.


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Hanukkah

The Hanukkah attraction receives large crowds to see the lights.


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Harrison Fox
Fuchs wrote a letter to The Post in 1997 about his holiday worries.
Paul Martinka

Harrison may have won Hanukkah this year.

Now a playwright and actor known as Harrison Bryan, he made his debut with A Hanukkah Carol, or GELT TRIP! The Musical” – a Jewish interpretation of the Christmas classic by Charles Dickens – on the first night of Hanukkah at The Green Room 42 in Manhattan. The show, which has an eight-strong, all-Jewish cast playing 80 characters, even includes a “Hanukkah Fairy.”

“This show is so connected to my family and upbringing,” said Harrison, who worked with two collaborators, adding that his artistic statement accompanying the show cited The Post’s letter as his inspiration.

Hanukkah house
Hanukkah House is a popular Jewish light show in Brooklyn.
Facebook/Gail Fuchs
Harrison Fox's house
Fuchs started the tradition after feeling unrepresented.
Facebook/Gail Fuchs

“It really started with that article in the New York Post,” he said.

His goal is to work with investors and producers and host a commercial run in the city each season.

“I’ve been the face of Hanukkah for the past few weeks,” said Harrison, who married earlier this year and lives down the block from his childhood home. “I’ve turned into a Hanukkah Harry,” he said, adding that he still loves bringing some “Oy” to the world and helping his parents assemble the giant Hanukkah display each year.

Harrison Fox's house
The light show inspired him to create a Christmas musical centered around religion.
Facebook/Gail Fuchs

“It’s important to me that my parents’ house shines the brightest. I still feel connected to it,” he said of the Hanukkah display, which could turn anyone’s head faster than a Dreidel. “I’m a bit like a Hanukkah elf.”

Gail, 66, and husband David, who built the seven-foot-tall free-standing menorah in their front yard at their steel mill, remarked about the family show: “In the beginning it was all about Harrison’s joy. But as he got older, he saw the joy it brought to others.”

Now an original song from the musical “Light Up the Night” is playing in the background in Fuchs’ Hanukkah house.

It’s more than just coming full circle — “It’s a full Star of David,” he said.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/20/how-a-little-boys-hanukkah-wish-grew-into-a-light-show-that-brightens-brooklyn/ How a little boy’s Hanukkah wish turned into a light show that lights up Brooklyn

JACLYN DIAZ

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