Looking for Jewish friends? There’s an app for that. This past Tuesday, an iPhone app was released called GrapeVine: The Jewish Connector. The iTunes store description compares the app to entertainment giants Pandora and Netflix, in that it has a “virtual concierge that suggests Jewish opportunities that you might like.” What exactly are Jewish opportunities, might you ask? They can include anything from events, articles, and… people. GrapeVine customizes itself according to the user’s location, “allowing you to simply navigate your Jewish journey as you evolve, move, and change.”
The app is a new innovation of the already existing GrapeVine website, which was launched at the beginning of 2012 with the help of a slew of philanthropic organizations such as the Community Relations Council of New York, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation in partnership with the ROI Community, the Natan Fund, the UJA-Federation of New York, and the Ryzman Family Foundation.
However, the app is no mere facsimile of its mother site: it provides new and exciting services such as integration with Facebook, so “you can easily identify what your friends are doing,” too. In fact, GrapeVine has a Facebook page of its own, boasting some cringe-worthy phrases such as using “predictive analytics to link the silos of Jewish life” and their promise to “maximize Jews’ connection to Jewish life from ‘womb to tomb.’” GrapeVine also hosted a mobile app preview reception in mid-November in Baltimore, which they promoted through their Facebook page. The message may not have gotten out, the event’s Facebook page only shows 23 people attending.
For those who couldn’t attend the event and still need consultation on the virtue of the opportunities they have selected to advance their Jewish Journey, do not look farther than your iPhone. “GrapeVine also provides you with an easy way to quickly provide feedback on opportunities you’ve selected.” Phew.