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MARCH 2023
Announcing the Endowment of the
F. Warren & Pamela Ellish Cornell Hillel Super Seder

F. Warren Ellish (’77, MBA ’78) and his wife Pamela are excited to give back to Cornell by endowing the Cornell Hillel Super Seder. The Ellish family is pleased to support the Super Seder event, held on the first night of Passover on campus, where members of the Cornell community can make friends, eat great food, and celebrate our amazing Jewish values and traditions.

 

“Cornell Hillel thanks the Ellish family for their wonderful support of Passover programming on campus. With this legacy gift, Hillel can continue offering our Super Seder free-of-charge, ensuring that every student can celebrate and express their Jewish heritage at their home-away-from-home,” said Hillel Board Chair Len Feldman ’89.

 

The Super Seder is one of Cornell Hillel’s most popular and long-held annual events, attracting over 400 guests. For the past few years, Hillel has offered the event free for all attendees, though between the venue, ritual foods, and meal, it is one of the most costly events that Hillel runs. The Ellish endowment will underwrite a large portion of the event helping to ensure it will remain free and accessible for years to come.

 

Interestingly, Passover has deeper significance for Warren who was born on the first Passover Seder, and now, the Passover Seder is his family’s favorite Jewish holiday and tradition. With this endowment, the Ellish family looks forward to “breaking matzah” over the Seder table with many future generations of Cornellians. Additionally, the Ellish family hopes to inspire every Jewish Cornell student to make the Passover Seder a meaningful Jewish experience and a commitment for their future Jewish life.

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Warren and Pam are residents of Scottsdale, Arizona and Vail, Colorado. Warren is the founder, President and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group, marketing consultants to many well-known restaurant and franchise brands. Prior to the establishment of this gift, Warren has been active at Cornell, where for 16 years he was a member of the marketing faculty at the SC Johnson College of Business, as Visiting Senior Lecturer. For 14 years, he also founded and hosted the Cornell Marketing Executive Coaching Program: A one-of-a-kind mentorship program for Cornell Marketing students at the SC Johnson School that also included marketing students from across the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses. Each fall, the highly rated program brought over 60 C-Level executives and executive recruiters to Ithaca for a 2-day program featuring one-on-one coaching sessions for participating students.

 

Cornell Hillel’s Super Seder offers many simultaneous, different-themed Passover Seders for students, faculty, and community members to choose from, all in one location, to embody the traditions and backgrounds of the diverse Jewish community. Many of the Super Seder experiences are designed by students who may be leading for the first time and have been empowered through training and resources from Hillel staff. Every year, a beginners’ Seder is also among the options. Other popular offerings have included a Chocolate Seder, Disney Seder, and Sephardi/Mizrahi Seder. Whether a student is experiencing a Passover Seder for the first time, choosing a Seder that aligns with their traditions from home, or trying something new, Super Seder has it all and all students enjoy this welcoming, fun, community-wide event.

 

Every third year or so, when the Passover Seders fall over Cornell’s Spring Break (as they do this year), the funds from the Endowment will be held over to support following years. The Ellish family hopes that other members of the Cornell Jewish community will be moved to contribute towards the Endowment so that it may one day fully underwrite Super Seder without any supplemental funds needed from Hillel’s programming budget.

 

“Celebrating Passover on campus as one community through our vibrant Super Seder is fundamental to Hillel’s mission,” said Executive Director Rabbi Ari Weiss. “The Ellish family have established a meaningful legacy at Cornell Hillel that will support generations of students. We are deeply grateful and it is our long-term goal to grow this initial endowment through the generosity of others. Donations can be made of any size and will help underwrite the Seder experience for hundreds of Cornell students each year.”

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