Source: Interactive High Holiday Map
Israel Birthright NEXT realized there wasn't an easy way for their alumni to share their traditions around the holidays and let other alumni know where their celebrations were taking place. NEXT developed an interactive map that allowed their alumni to find celebrations near them and share their own High Holiday celebrations.
Now, young adults can search their communities and locate experiences they find meaningful by filtering events according to what matters most to them: youth-friendly events, prayer services set to music, and numerous other personal preferences. And of course, thanks to the crowdsourcing work, the map features hundreds of different events and celebrations in dozens of cities across the US.
Along with better search capabilities, they have learned that users want to experience the events featured on the map as part of a peer group. In other words, while the map itself is meant to connect them to a community, they want to also connect with their friends in advance of attending that community event. After all, nobody likes to show up to a party alone.
To meet this demand, they added functionality so that the map’s events are easily converted and shareable on Facebook and Twitter. If someone finds a High Holiday event they like, they can now share it with their networks, and connect with others who want a similar experience.
In this regard, the map’s technology interface is being utilized to make real connections based on common interests. It becomes much more than simply a way to locate events, but instead, a vehicle that helps build relationships between Birthright Israel alumni and their peers, while connecting them to Jewish community at large – one of the core goals at NEXT.