If you ever hear the phrase “Happy Days,” you likely start thinking about “The Fonz.” No one could predict the popularity the role would have, Henry Winkler, included. The humility he’s kept for that success has built him a reputation for being wholesome.
Think about it. When’s the last time you heard a story that says he’s anything other than one of the nicest people in Hollywood? You can’t. Earlier, he sent an adorable Hanukkah message to fans and whether or not you celebrate the occasion, it’s something to read that’ll absolutely make your day.
Henry Winkler Celebrates the Holidays With Fans
This is the message that the “Happy Days” icon shared with fans on Twitter earlier today. It says “May the LIGHT of the next 8 days brighten all your lives” in reference to a Hanukkah tradition.
Check it out:
May the LIGHT of the next 8 days brighten all your lives— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) November 28, 2021
Several fans replied with photos from their own Hanukkah celebrations including a fan who attended a menorah lighting in NYC. Another fan shared that although they don’t celebrate Hanukkah, they do make Winkler and “Fonzie” a part of their Christmas traditions. Apparently, they decorated a Christmas ornament with the character back in ’75 and have kept it around since. How cool is that?
Although this is reflective of a difference in religion, my not-so-great elementary school artwork has blessed our family traditions since around 1975! Thank you @hwinkler4real for being a special part of our holiday! pic.twitter.com/9Wb4xISqwK— Todd Bivins (@ToddBivins) November 29, 2021
Is the ‘Happy Days’ Star Jewish?
You might be asking yourself that question. The answer is yes. Henry Winkler is indeed Jewish and both of his parents identify as such. His parents were German-Jewish immigrants who moved to the United States in 1939 in order to escape the horrors of the Holocaust. This also means that Henry Winkler was one of the first Jewish stars to act on network TV.
He previously told a Jewish publication:
“I’m proud of the history; I’m proud of the tradition. I love the music. I love that everyone can choose their own way within the confines of the religion to believe. I love the logic and I love the humor.”
He then further explained his comment about humor and how it relates to the Jewish experience:
“I have always respected that you can take anything away from a human being, but you can’t take their imagination and their intellect…I think perhaps the oppression for all those thousands of years — if you don’t laugh, you don’t survive. I think it became a survival technique and an opportunity, a great one, because humor heals a lot of wounds.”