Foursquare and Religion: Who’s Mayor of the Minyan?

Each synagogue minyan(daily prayer group) has the one person who always seems to be there. In some congregations, this might be the gabbai(a ritual director of sorts). In other shuls it might be the rabbi. And in others it might be a lay person who is very dedicated and wants to ensure there is always a minyan (quorum of 10) so others can say the Mourner’s Kaddish. Some minyans have a group of dedicated individuals who make it a point to always attend — regardless of rain, sleet or snow.

 

Foursquare-Checkin-Minyan

Who’s the Mayor of the Minyan on FourSquare?

With the mobile application FourSquare (a cross between a friend-finder, social city-guide, and game), it is now possible to find out who attends the minyan the most. While the most active minyan attendees in many communities are older, retirees who may have never even heard of Foursquare, it would still be fun to see who “checks in” to the synagogue the most. In the FourSquare world, the user with the most check ins at a venue gains the mayorship of that venue, so it would be interesting to see who becomes the “mayor” of the shul.

Many local businesses offer specials (10% off at some restaurants and coffee shops, for example) for a check-in or for being the mayor of a venue. Perhaps in the future, synagogues will offer incentives for the most check ins at the morning minyan or for children at Hebrew school. I can imagine a synagogue discounting the dues of the mayor of the minyan or presenting the mayor of religious school with an award.

Jewish non-profits can also utilize FourSquare to reward volunteers. The mayor of the kosher food bank for instance might be featured in the monthly newsletter.

Thanks to FourSquare, in the future you might see a sign next to the rabbi’s parking space in the synagogue lot that reads: “Reserved Parking for the Mayor of the Minyan.”

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Jewish Techs: The Jewish Technology Blog

This blog looks at how modern technology affects Jewish life, particularly the impact of the Internet on Jews across the globe. The Internet has made the Jewish community seem smaller. The Jewish Techs blog, written by blogger Rabbi Jason Miller (The Techie Rabbi), explores the places where Jewish culture, education and faith intersect with technology. Of course, like anything, Jews will continue to ask if technology is good or bad for the Jews – the age old question of our people. Good or bad, it is undisputed that technology has changed Jewish life. If you’re Jewish or interested in technology or both… you’ll enjoy the conversation. Thanks for reading the Jewish Techs blog.

The Techie Rabbi – Rabbi Jason Miller

Rabbi Jason Miller, the Techie RabbiJason Miller is NOT your typical rabbi. Known as the Techie Rabbi, he launched Access Computer Technology in 2010 and has grown it into a full-scale technology firm that provides social media marketing consulting and web design in addition to IT support. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary a decade ago, Rabbi Jason has made a name for himself as a popular blogger, social media expert, educator and entrepreneur. Based in Detroit, his congregation includes more than a million people who read his blog and follow him in Cyberspace. He began the Jewish Techs blog in January 2010 as the New York Jewish Week's technology expert.

An entrepreneurial rabbi and an alum of Clal's "Rabbi Without Borders" fellowship, Jason Miller is a rabbi and thought leader whose personal blog has been viewed by millions. The Detroit Free Press called him “the most tech-savvy Jewish leader" and the Huffington Post ranked him among the top Jewish Twitter users in the world. A social media expert, Rabbi Jason is a popular speaker and writer on technology and its effect on the Jewish world. He writes the "Jewish Techs" blog for The Jewish Week and the monthly "Jews in the Digital Age" column for the Detroit Jewish News.

Miller won the 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is one of the winners of a Jewish Influencer award from the National Jewish Outreach Program.