Outside the Shabbat Tent at Coachella this year.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
At the Coachella music festival on Sunday, Kanye West took to a hilltop with a gospel Easter “Sunday Service” musical set.
But over the weekend at the annual southern California festival, dozens of people showed up to “Matzahchella,” a series of Passover Seders spearheaded by Rami Even-Esh, aka the rapper Kosha Dillz, and the Shabbat Tent nonprofit.
In a conversation with The Jerusalem Post
on Monday, Even-Esh said the Seders “were amazing. As many as 10 people came at a time.”
The Shabbat Tent, an organization run by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, brings Jewish experiences to music festivals and events around the US. During the second weekend of Coachella, the organization ran regular 10-minute Seders at repeated intervals throughout the first two days of Passover.
Attendees were treated to unlimited matza, as well as gefilte fish, Manischewitz wine, a fully-stocked Seder plate and a 10-minute speed session of the Haggada.
“I think people appreciate it on different levels,” Even-Esh said. “There are those who want the selfie with the Seder plate. There are those who want to eat matzah.”
He noted that while he himself prefers “a nice, long painful Seder,” for some people even 10 minutes was too long to stick around. But others, he said, “want to stay longer and donate money to the organization immediately. They wanna hang all day.”
The Shabbat Tent has – in recent years – set up shop at music festivals across the US, as well as at the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and more.
Even-Esh said he always loves attending Coachella, and his experience this year was on another level.
“I decided to come because of the presence of Sunday Service [by Kanye West] and I love the festival,” he said. Having the Shabbat Tent on site to help celebrate Passover makes it “lovely to receive hospitality and be treated like family.”
And on Sunday Even-Esh, aka Kosha Dillz, experienced something he hadn’t even dreamed of: performing at Coachella.
“I played my song “Span-Hebrish” with the Subsuelo crew on the Mojave stage,” he said. “Not only did I actually create one of the first Seders in Coachella – I actually played Coachella! Talk about a real miracle of Seder and Exodus.”
Even-Esh said he thinks he is the first person to ever perform in Hebrew at the Coachella festival.
“Playing Coachella has been a dream,” he said. “But telling people about the story of Matzahchella is really what I love.”
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