A well known voice in the world of Jewish music is hoping to raise the bar in Jewish educational software, with a new line of smart phone apps specifically designed for young children.
“My own kids are always playing with my phone but there are no interactive Jewish educational apps for them,” Cantor Netanel Hershtik, the father of three children, ages six, five and two, told VIN News. “Angry Birds, Temple Run, these are great games but we must have something with our values available to our kids.”
With that goal in mind, Hershtik created a new company called iShtik, which he hopes will design a line of Jewish children’s app and his first product, called Kids Siddur, is an interactive siddur which covers daily prayers typically said by children ages two through nine.
“It is hard even for an adult to daven at times so it is definitely a difficult thing for children,” explained Hershtik. “By presenting tefila in a cartoon-like, interactive format, it gives kids the ability to enjoy the music, the interaction and the tefila itself.”
Kids Siddur features the voice of Hershtik’s eleven nephew Shlomo Zichel, a finalist in this year’s Beit Sefer L’Musika, a popular Israeli reality show and functions fully in both Hebrew and English. It is available for $2.99 on both iTunes for $2.99 and Google Play for all iOS and Android based touch screen devices, including smart phones and tablets.
It took one year to develop Kids Siddur and Hershtik is already hard at work on his next app, which will help children appreciate the beauty of Shabbos.
“This all started because I was looking for something for my own kids and I believe that apps are our future, they are our present,” said Hershtik. “We need to meet that challenge and continue developing things that are educational, entertaining and can stand up next to the higher quality apps that are out that there. Kids Siddur may be iShtik’s first app, but it is certainly not the last.”
Kids Siddur can be downloaded for Apple devices here and for Android devices here.