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5 Jewish apps that are paving the way to 2018

Need kosher food? A Jewish date? An emoji of a bearded rabbi? There's an app for you
Illustrative photo of a kosher food shop. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Illustrative photo of a kosher food shop. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

As a marketing coach, apps are a lifesaver when it comes to seamlessly interacting with my clients, structuring my workload and maximizing my time. And while they’re often (well, always) to blame for my perpetual 5%-phone battery, I still can’t get enough: apps are absolutely the lifeblood of my online business.

Because of my need to keep my business thriving online, I depend on the latest and best tools to strategically maximize my time and resources.

And other times, I simply feel the need to use apps that are just for fun: the ones that make me laugh, make me think, make me easily connect with loved ones, and make me feel proud to be a Jew.

Today, there are a slew of apps out that provide an opportunity to embrace and enrich Jewish tradition and culture.  Here are five that are paving the way into 2018:

1. SHALOMOJI

shalomoji

(Source: iTunes App Store Preview)

Twinland LLC recently launched the Jewish emoji app, which includes GIFs (incorporating animated Jewish emojis), customizable stickers (including synagogue-related items, Jewish symbols, biblical images, Ashkenazi and Sephardic dishes), Jewish holiday icons, phrases (typical Jewish sayings like “Mazel Tov” or “Oy Vey”) and a rabbi holding each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

“We created Shalomoji to serve as a fun, comical and entertaining way to keep the Jewish spirit alive in the digital space,” Berenice Famili, founder of Shalomoji says.

It was important for us to make sure users could bring Jewish flavor to their messages through a plethora of options whether within our app, keyboard extension or the iMessage app drawer,” Famili explains.

What makes the app especially unique is the central character dubbed Rabbi Shlomo. Wearing a dark black suit, with a black top hat and a tallit draped around both shoulders, Rabbi Shlomo humorously encapsulates the Jewish lifestyle and culture, whether he is davening with a siddur in his hands or dancing to Hava Nagila.

Another feature that sets Shalomoji apart from other emoji apps is the slider scale feature, which allows users to customize the size of the emojis to small, medium, or large.

“At its core, Shalomoji’s goal is to function as a useful way for both the Jewish community and friends of the Jewish community to not only send cute holiday greetings, but to utilize meaningful Jewish emojis to fully reflect and share the Jewish culture via text messages and social media posts sent to family and friends,” Famili states. So if you’re looking for an app that provides a new Jewtastic way to communicate, Shalomoji is the app for you.

Available on: App Store

2. SHALOM

shalom

(Source: iTunes App Store Preview)

This newly launched Jewish dating app created by two Sikh entrepreneurs, KJ Dhaliwal and Sukhmeet Toor, is the newest way to find your bashert. Shalom has a distinctive edge in its algorithms that suggest matches based on user behavior and data such as location, partner preferences, and recent activity, which all help with increasing the chances of users seeing profiles that match their liking. There are no limits on the number of matches you can see each day and no time limit once you match with someone.

The app gives users the optional opportunity to integrate both their LinkedIn and Instagram accounts in their profiles, to help create a better picture of professional and social attributes.

Users also have the option of utilizing the app via Facebook Messenger, where users chat with a bot that asks questions about themselves and suggests possible matches.

Shalom also offers an optional premium $19.99 per month version, featuring VIP access that includes unlimited likes, reset dislikes, viewing mutual friends with others, sending notes to potential matches, and rewinding where you can change your past decision. If you download the app, be ready to say shalom to your potential new partner.

Available on: App Store and Google Play

3. SHEMA

shema

(Source: iTunes App Store Preview)

A project developed in English, Hebrew, and Spanish, the Shema app helps connect Jews build a closer connection to Jewish traditions. Shema offers a bunch of beneficial features such as a Jewish calendar with holiday alarms, prayer times, a basic siddur and weekly parasha. It also offers minyanim maps, meat/dairy timers, a translator and a Jerusalem compass. Users can also enjoy listening to music while reading up on the latest news on Israel and Jewish communities around the world. As a collaborative effort, users are asked to add Jewish institutions, synagogues, mikvahs, minyanim, kosher restaurants and markets in the locator section. The app additionally offers basic guides for Torah studies, mitzvot, cooking recipes and Jewish names.

Users who enjoy the app are encouraged to provide tzedakah in order to help grow and support Shema. The next time you say the Shema, you can follow along with the Shema app.

Available On: App Store or Google Play

4. Kosher GPS

kosher gps

(Source: iTunes App Store Preview)

Yitzchak Katz created Kosher GPS for kosher travelers who are looking to eliminate the stress involved in finding kosher restaurants, local minyans, or mikvahs. Updated daily, Kosher GPS helps travelers in the USA, Canada and England find information on thousands of kosher locations. By enabling the app to use your specific location, it automatically finds the closest kosher restaurants near you. Users can utilize the search icon to search other areas by zip code or name. Although the app mentions that all featured listings are verified as having the most reputable kosher certifications or private certifications, it advises user to still call for further verification as everything is subject to change.  The app also features deals and discounts offered by local restaurants. All in all this app is perfect to Keep Calm and Keep Kosher.

Available On: App Store or Google Play

5. Jake TV

jake tv

(Source: iTunes App Store Preview)

Gary Wurtzel’s Jake TV app collects all the best Jewish videos in one place. As an independent channel, the app offers the very best Jewish videos in arts, education, and television. Inspired by four thousand years of Jewish heritage, Jake TV also features genres such as comedy, animation, live-action, music, and documentaries. The user can search from a list of video categories ranging from PragerU, Aish.Com, Accidental Talmudist, Jake TV Originals or Holocaust Stories. Any videos users enjoy can be bookmarked or saved in a likes folder once user tap the thumbs up button.

Avaliable on App Store or Google Play

Here’s to a 2018 filled with Jewish innovation, Jewish collaboration, and Jewish pride. L’chaim!

About the Author
Lena Elkins is a Millennial Business Coach and the host of the popular Facebook group, Millennial Go-Getters. Lena teachers her community of over 15,000 Gen-Y entrepreneurs how to strategize, launch, and scale 6-figure online businesses. Originally from the San Francisco By Area, Lena now lives in Tel Aviv.
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