May 21, 2024
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Student-Built Minyan-Finder App Project Sees Growing Audience

If your work or family vacation plans bring you somewhere new, and you’re uncertain where or when a minyan is available, there’s an app that can save the day. And it now offers additional tools as well.

Called Shulert, the app was developed in 2019 by two students at Yeshiva High School of Monsey (YHSM)—Yaakov Schlachter and Avrumy Lunger—under the guidance of Rabbi Dovid Rubin. At the time the app was started, Schlachter and Lunger each already had almost two years of coding experience.

The app helps users find minyanim wherever they are, worldwide, allowing them to locate the closest shul and sharing the Shul’s nusach, place on the spectrum of frum observance, contact information, the name of the Shul’s rav, and other useful information.

Since its initial release, Shulert’s developers have been working to expand the capabilities of the app. Schlachter told The Jewish Link that they have now added a siddur function, which comes with Ashkenaz, Sephard and Edut HaMizrach nusachs, and a list of Halachic Z’manim. They also hired a professional designer, who improved the ease of use, accessibility and appearance of the app.

The updates are now available on the Android version of the app. The developers hope to complete the updates to the iPhone version in the coming months.

Schlachter reported that Shulert differs from other apps with similar functions in that it is being constantly updated, with a crowd-source function to obtain new information; users can offer additions and updated information to the shul listings (which the developers verify before incorporating). As an app that is not a web-based service, Shulert is also more accessible to users who prefer a “kosher phone” without internet browsing capabilities.

Shulert has been downloaded over 1,400 times so far and the user base is growing each week.

According to Schlachter, he is slated to graduate YHSM in June and plans to continue to build his skills in software development. Lunger will be finishing his first year at Torah Tech in Tel Aviv. And both young men intend to keep updating Shulert.

Two Shulert users contacted by The Jewish Link praised the app and shared how it assists them.

Rabbi Moshe Maimon of Jackson, New Jersey stated: “The app is especially helpful bein hazmanim when we travel, often to my in-law’s in Cleveland, and I cannot rely on my regular minyan routine. The updated version with the zmanim features is also a big help, but I’m not going to lie, the nachas I get by benefitting from my students’ genius is certainly the most enjoyable feature for me!”

Moshe Yosef Klagsbrun of Passaic remarked: “Super helpful when I go out of town and I don’t know where I can catch a minyan. The app has things I wouldn’t even think about before traveling, like the exact address of every shul listed, and a built-in siddur (which came in handy a few too many times). Truly a bracha in itself and a must-have for any Yid that ever travels.”

For more information on the Shulert app, please send email to [email protected]

By Harry Glazer

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