Pre-Festival Chag
(First and Second Night Seders)

Celebrate the entire Passover Holiday in the Desert!

Read below for general information about the First and Second Night Seders.

Join us in the beautiful desert landscape of the Panamint Valley for the Seder, the traditional Jewish feast that marks the beginning of the holiday. During the Seder, we will retell our core story of the Passover journey from slavery to freedom in the Tent of Meeting around the Passover table.

The Program

Read below for more details on the Seders.


Join Wilderness Torah community to honor age-old Passover traditions it in the vast, magical desert landscape. Connect to traditional Passover meal and ritual in its original setting, the midbar or desert wilderness, with a special focus on the theme “Faith to Freedom.”

Celebrate the traditional Passover Seder on the first night and a co-creative bonfire seder on the second night. During the day on Tuesday, join us for prayer and Jewish learning, relax in the peaceful desert, and contemplate the four questions. Take a trip to Surprise Canyon before the village grows!

For those staying for the full festival, Wednesday is a time to visit Surprise Canyon, the beautiful neighboring oasis, join us for movement and meditation, and integrate insights gleaned during the seders in the expanse of the desert. In the afternoon, help light the Sacred Fire and send off the Overnight Wilderness Solo participants in ceremony and prayer.

On the first night of Passover, we sit together in the Tent of Meeting around the Passover table to recount our ancient journey to freedom with a traditional seder. We will follow the ancient Haggadah, containing Passover’s traditional rituals, customs, and stories; commemorate the symbols of Passover with traditional seder plates; and cultivate joy and connection with song and stories in the magical desert context. First-night seder will be facilitated by Maggid Zelig Golden and other special leaders.
Join in an off-the-page co-created Passover seder celebration around the bonfire! For the second night seder, we will invite all assembled to co-create part of the traditional seder in small groups. This night, the story will come alive through the brilliance of each of us. Those just arriving for the second seder will witness this unique approach to retelling the story and have space to join in on the fun.