New York – The days of not being able to find a minyan when you need have officially come to an end with the launch ten days ago of MMinyan, a free worldwide mobile application containing not only a comprehensive database of shuls and minyanim, but kosher restaurants, Jewish schools, mikvaos and kosher hotels in addition to a full siddur and comprehensive list of zemanim worldwide. The application which can be downloaded in English, Hebrew, French or Spanish currently runs on iPod, iPad, iPhone and Android phones and will soon be available for BlackBerry devices.
MMinyan is the brainchild of Shimmy Pelman, a Queens businessman and president of Tomchei Shabbos of Queens who realized that while current websites provided locations of minyanim, they were not able to direct you to the actual minyan, something that could be a problem when visiting an unfamiliar area. Using Google maps, MMinyan pinpoints your location and displays a map of all nearby minyanim. Additionally MMinyan has the ability to allow any user to invite others either to an existing minyan that does not have the required ten men or to create an entirely new minyan at a specified time and location, something that could be particularly useful in airports, stadiums and other large venues.
“The idea here was to insure that no one would ever have to daven without a minyan simply because they couldn’t find one,” Pelman told VIN News in an exclusive interview. “MMinyan is unique because it is first social network that isn’t based upon who you know, but is based instead on your religious affiliation.”
It took Pelman and his team at the newly created MMinyan, Inc. a full year to compile all the data from the internet, private institutions and even the Israeli government, yielding a database that contains 10,000 synagogues, 4,000 minyanim running 50,000 tefillos weekly, 4,000 kosher restaurants and 1,500 mikvaos worldwide.
In just over a week, MMinyan, which has been endorsed by Rabbi Yona Metzger, Chief Rabbi of Israel, has already been downloaded several thousand times, with downloads coming in from locations as diverse as Costa Rica, France, Argentina and South Africa. It can also be accessed online at mminyan.com.
Pelman financed the project himself in memory of his parents and in laws saying simply, “I didn’t want anyone to have to pay to use this application”, though dedication and sponsorship opportunities are available at the MMinyan site.