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JWalk

The community knows young people today, faced with unprecedented life opportunities, are less bound by structures of tradition. Hillel of Greater Toronto, as the experts on university and college-age Jews, understands they need to engage and affiliate with our community in ways meaningful to them – viral, low-barrier, cultural, diverse. In addition to native Torontonians, the growing number of Russian and Israeli university and college students find it even more challenging to connect with the established Jewish community. In response to this pressing need, Hillel will create a smartphone application (app) called JWalk. JWalk allows users to pin-point on a Google map young, Jewish, hot-spot venues and events in their immediate surroundings and view how many other JWalk users are present at those locations. (After dinner, Tammy and two friends are standing at Bloor and Spadina looking for somewhere to go. By opening JWalk they see 25 JWalk users are at Free Times Café. They head over there.…) In addition to venues and events inputted by Hillel, users upload their preferred personal venues and upcoming events. (Evan plays in a band with other Jewish guys. Their band is playing at Mod Club and there will be a significant Jewish audience. Evan is sure to list the event on JWalk) JWalk users access deals and coupons from area hot-spots (The next 3 JWalk users to purchase a pastry at Café Aroma, receive a free coffee). JWalk users access a classified section specifically targeting Jewish university students. (Lisa is looking for a roommate….) JWalk users view a multi-media, provocative, Jewish cultural daily post and respond with thoughts and multi-media clips of their own. (www.faceglat.com – a virtual mechitza. Has the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel set-up a double standard for tradition vs. technology?) JWalk is the new social media tool that all young Jews want to access to see where other young Jews are hanging-out in the city, which upcoming Jewish event will be the hottest ticket, and how the provocative daily post will challenge their notions about Judaism. Ultimately, JWalk is a transformational tool for community affiliation and growth.