App-solutely Amazing: 6 Apps for Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah

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How did anyone pull off a bar or bat mitzvah before there were apps?

Today, there are tools right in your phone that can help with every part of the simcha. They can aid in planning and preparation for the ceremony and celebration. They can help the slacker student or the kid who’s eager to ace their Haftorah. And apps can help relieve the anxiety of a parent who wants everything just right.


Here are six useful apps to help you make it to your simcha.

PocketTorah
Available on Android and iOS. Free.

PocketTorah is built to aid students in learning the cantillation for chanting the Torah, Haftorah and megillot anywhere. And b’nai mitzvah teachers seem to find it works, at least according to reviews on the Google Play Store (where it’s received largely popular reviews). “Great for both my students and I to use! They love the technology and I love them having it handy wherever they are,” wrote Lori Kline.

Tikun Korim
Available on Android and iOS. $19.99.

Rusty Brick’s Tikun Korim is designed to let you do all the parshah study you need on the go, with a bookmark feature that lets you pick up right where you left off and a recording function to let your teacher track your progress. A cantorial chart with audio from a teacher also helps you learn how to chant on your own, and the entire Torah, Haftorah and Book of Esther are included in the app. Available with Sephardi and Ashkenazi pronunciations.

RSVPify
Available on iOS. Free.

Whether you want to save some money or save the planet, digital invitations can make the whole process a bit greener, and these days you don’t have to skimp on quality. RSVPify not only lets you create customized, elegant digital invitations, but from there it keeps track of who’s coming, who can’t make it and who you still haven’t heard from. You can even group guests into parties and log all their unique preferences. The days of sending and collecting the mail could soon be over.

Social Tables
Available on iOS. Free.

Social Tables is built for the professional planner, but its Pocket Planner app can help the concerned parent feel in charge. It uses Convention Industry Council standards to make recommendations on anything from big-picture questions like staffing, food and beverage totals to the nitty-gritty of trash cans, tables, dance-floor square footage and screens.

AllSeated
Available on Android and iOS. Free.

If Social Tables helps you build the foundation for a great celebration, AllSeated helps you fill in the blanks. It has a suite of event-planning and management tools, but its seating chart planner helps ease the anxiety that comes with any big occasion, especially with the social concerns of teens involved. The check-in function of its day-of app gives you real-time updates of who’s arrived, while also providing a 2-D or 3-D look at the event space and your tables.

Snapchat
Available on Android and iOS. Free.

With kids these days, if it’s not online, it’s almost like it didn’t happen. But instead of using generic filters, it’s easier than ever to put a unique digital stamp on your photos. There’s no shortage of services that will build your own b’nai mitzvah filter, putting it at the fingertips of every guest in attendance (with parental approval, of course).

jforetek@midatlanticmedia.com

Jared Foretek is a staff writer at Washington Jewish Week, a sister publication of the Baltimore Jewish Times.

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