12 Great Jewish Apps

How can you use smartphones and tablets for Jewish education even if you don’t have one? Answer: Tell your students about them.

Our picks of the best Jewish apps for smart phones and tablets:

logo_3b_57x57The Amazing Jewish Fact-a-Day Calendar puts a 20-second nugget of amazing Judaism on the screen every day, with links to online reading, audio and video. Coolest feature: Using GPS, the app rests on Shabbat.
iblessfoodIBless is a handy, on-the-go-guide to the Hebrew blessings (brachos or berachoth) recited before and after eating. Search for a food and the app tells you which bracha to make.
tanachThe Tanach app allows you to browse, search and study the Best Seller. Features crisp Hebrew text and precise vowel placement and includes Rashi‘s commentary.
alefbetschoolhouseAll Jewish educators say it’s important to learn Hebrew, but some students really struggle with the language. Alef Bet Schoolhouse teaches the aleph-bet with sound, color and animation.
kosherfree“Are you kosher?” Well, food can be kosher, but not people…. But this kosherguide locates the nearest kosher restaurants. Includes a list of common kosher symbols.
shofariShofar plays the shofar sounds right on your phone! A clever instructional tool for learning the difference between tekiah, shevarim and teruah. Also great for rousing teenagers in the morning – tell them it’s a mitzvah!
megillatestherRead the full Megillat Esther on Purim…. The app also allows you to make gragger noises every time you reach the name of the wicked Haman. It goes without saying that this is by far the coolest way to hear the Megilla.
bedtime ShemaThe Bedtime Shema app is a fun and interactive learning aid for children, inspiring them and helping them learn to say the Shema. Is there any Jewish phrase more central and vital for children to learn by heart?
hebrewHebrewNEXT is the official Hebrew flashcard app of Birthright Israel, bringing Hebrew right to your phone and making it quick and easy to learn. Includes key phrases for travel.
yuYU Torah is Yeshiva University’s service for streaming classes by prominent YU teachers. Now there is no excuse not to learn a little every day.
SiddurSiddur for iPhone or iPad is a free prayer book with a compass to point you towards Jerusalem. (Note, there are many cool siddur apps, like this one that computes local prayer times.)

Know of a great Jewish app not listed here?
Please let us know by sending an email to bestapps [at] jsli.org.

Give a Gift App

Did you know that you can gift an iPhone/iPad app to someone?

Think about it – for 99¢ you can give your friends, students and supporters something that they’ll enjoy every day – such as a nugget of Jewish wisdom with links articles, audio and video.

1. You know that most of them have iPhones and/or iPads
2. There are 500,000 apps out there but only a few hundred Jewish ones and the best of these are for the highly-literate – Daf Yomi, etc.

Moreover, once they have the app installed, you can use it as a conversation starter – like, “Did you see today’s amazing Jewish fact” etc.

Better than a book they may or may not read. Better than something that will sit on their desk. This is something they’ll likely use and enjoy (and think of you every day).

If you want to see what it looks and feels like, Amazon now has a “test drive” feature – works from your browser.

iPhone version
Android version
Amazon version

How Apple’s gift program works:

Use the iTunes program to locate the app (or use this and click “view in iTunes).
Under the app icon it will say “Buy this app” and beside that there is a down-arrow. When you click the arrow, you get the option to “gift this app”.

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