Tech talk: Hi-tech specials for Passover

Israeli technology is continuously putting down new roots.

Tsofen encourages the establishment and development of hi-tech centers in major Arab cities and communities. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Tsofen encourages the establishment and development of hi-tech centers in major Arab cities and communities.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israeli technology is continuously putting down new roots. Facebook recently opened extensive new offices in Israel. It operates with an entrepreneurial spirit and is always looking for new opportunities.
At the recent Facebook exhibition, Messenger’s new capabilities were showcased along with two Israeli companies: Emu, which enables users to create personalized stickers with their own pictures on them; and Magisto, which helps you create video clips easily and quickly. Every week there is a different hi-tech trade show in Tel Aviv in which incredibly creative devices and apps are showcased.
Password for Every Child
A computer-based initiative designed to increase literacy, Password for Every Child aims to bring together teachers, students and their parents. This unique venture encourages both students and teachers to express their creativity, and each school can customize the program for their specific needs.
Teachers learn how to integrate computers into their teaching and as a result improve their connection with students.
In addition, they can teach more updated content in more interactive and experiential ways. Numerous extra hours were designated for implementing this project; as a result, the program has been a fantastic success, and additional schools have expressed interest in participating.
Students at the Degania School in Tirat Carmel are participating in a national Password for Every Child pilot program and have received tablets on which they follow their teachers’ classes, do homework and take tests. The tablets were specially customized to meet students’ needs and include a custom-built desktop for each student and all the text books and workbooks that students will be using that year.
“We are running our program in sample schools in every population sector,” Password for Every Child CEO Maggie Asayag said. “We aim to carry out an educational revolution in Israel. The technology we use in our program provides Israeli students with incredible knowledge as well as a unique learning experience.”

Facebook contest in Israel
There is a new and unusual crowd-funding campaign going on in Israel that is aimed at decentralizing Facebook and Twitter’s power.
Have you ever thought about what motivates sites like Facebook and Twitter? It’s clear to everyone that these social-networking sites are commercial ventures and that they use information people upload for their financial benefit. But wouldn’t it make more sense for people to receive the information that is appropriate for them, instead of being inundated with ads from companies trying to sell them things they don’t really need?
Synereo is a decentralized social-networking, crowd-funding campaign that was created in Israel by a few friends who served together in the famous IDF 8200 unit in an effort to combat the current concentration of social-networking companies. Synereo is completely decentralized and makes use of P2P (peer-to-peer) computing.
Since there is no single point of failure, it cannot be hijacked by Internet providers or governments, and your information is completely spy proof.
Wikipedia and Bitcoin, two examples of decentralized sites, serve as cornerstones of the world of free Internet since they embody a wonderful social spirit.
Synereo has begun selling a currency called AMP, which is similar to Bitcoin. People can use AMP to promote their content online directly with other Internet users without having to use the Synereo or any other interface and without having to pay a commission.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be notified when your child arrives at school or when your elderly father reaches his outpatient therapy session, just to put your mind to rest? Unlike other tracking apps, SpaceMe only notifies the people you’ve specified, so your privacy is protected.
Most tracking apps do not end up fulfilling their purpose because people forget to de-select people, which means that people you didn’t intend to know where you are receive updates of your location. Most people prefer to protect their anonymity and only share their location with a few specific people. SpaceMe frees people from having to call or text people when they leave or arrive at a new location.
SpaceMe does not use much battery and can be used anywhere in the world. It’s easy-to-use technology is instrumental in helping people reduce their level of anxiety when they receive notice that their friend or loved one has arrived safely at their intended destination.
It operates on Apple and Android and has support in Hebrew and English.
CER Prize
The Conference of European Rabbis has announced that it will be awarding three monetary prizes worth about NIS 100,000 each to developers of websites or apps that can truly help improve people’s lives or make the world a better place.
These new technologies should be in the area of health, energy, social reform, life-saving life-improvement devices or charity. The prize will only be awarded for sites or apps that are operational, not for ideas.
The competition is open to entrepreneurs from Israel and Europe.
The CER has turned to Kama-Tech, a program that was created to integrate Orthodox engineers into the Israeli hi-tech sector, in an effort to encourage more members of the haredi community to enter the contest.
7 Apps for Pessah
Plague Audio: If you’re the type who always shows up Seder night with some cool gimmick, then look no further. Plague Audio lets you add funny voices and noises to the traditional Haggada text that are even better than what you’re used to singing for Had Gadya. And when you press on each plague you get a fantastically funny sound that will surprise everyone at your Seder table. It’s free for Apple and Android.
Passover Karaoke: Do you love singing at the Seder? This cool Passover Karaoke app will help your children learn all the words and melodies to your favorite Passover holiday songs. Your kids will love it so much they won’t be able to wait until Seder night to show off.
It costs NIS 4 and is available for Apple and Android.
iHagada: Did you forget to bring a Haggada to the Seder? No longer do you need to squish and share a Haggada with the person sitting next to you. Just download iHagada and read the entire text straight from your smartphone. Turning the pages between each section of the Haggada is easy and convenient.
The text is shown in Hebrew as well as English. It costs NIS 4 and is available for Apple and Android.
Sefirat Haomer: It is a Jewish custom to count out loud each of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. If, like most people, you have a hard time remembering to say the blessing every day, all you have to do is download this Sefirat Haomer app. Not only will you be reminded to say it every day, it will show you the exact wording that you’re meant to say that specific day. It’s free for Apple and Android.
OU Kosher: If you are going to be traveling abroad this Pessah and you’re eager to know which items are kosher for Passover, then you’re in luck because the OU (Orthodox Union) has created an app especially for Pessah that will help you find updated information about products that have been given OU kashrut certification.
The OU oversees more than half a million products that are manufactured in 83 countries. The app even sends updates about products that have been added to the list of kosher food items. It’s free for Apple and Android.
Pessah trivia questions: If you’re still looking for something a little different to spice up your traditional Seder, these Pessah trivia questions are the perfect addition. Or try to answer the questions while you’re in the car on the way to a picnic during Hol Hamoed. Each level has 10 questions. It’s free for android.
Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem: If you’re thinking of touring the Old City of Jerusalem this Hol Hamoed, don’t forget to download this app, which offers 15 different guided tours, five of which have been tailored toward people with disabilities. Each tour is also accompanied with text for the hearing impaired, a map and GPS navigation. There is no need for ongoing Internet connection. It’s free for Apple and Android.
If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact
Translated by Hannah Hochner