Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla lit the Hanukkah candles at a virtual ceremony organized by the Israeli embassy in Washington on Wednesday evening, just days after his pharmaceutical corporation received the final go-ahead to distribute its coronavirus vaccine across the US.

Introducing Bourla, Ambassador Ron Dermer pointed out that the business executive is also the son of Holocaust survivors, as his parents were among the few Jews from Thessaloniki, Greece to survive the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis.

“Seventy-five years after the Nazis murdered millions, Dr. Bourla is today leading the race to save millions,” Dermer said, lauding Pfizer for being the first corporation to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, which will be distributed to countries around the world, including Israel.

In brief remarks before lighting the candles, Bourla noted that Hanukkah is “the story of great determination in face of adversity,” and also “the story of the possible becoming possible.”

“This Hanukkah, as this extremely difficult year comes to a close, and we look to a new beginning, we are celebrating both the incredible human spirit and determination it took to create the COVID-19 vaccine and how these efforts made the impossible — developing a vaccine so quickly — possible,” he added.

“As I light the candle for the seventh night of Hanukkah, I give thanks to the men and women who worked day and night over the past nine months and whose efforts have brought a shining light to our world. And I give thanks to God for guiding our efforts and helping us deliver during this season of joy and renewal a gift for the whole world.”

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