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Passover App Features Medieval-Inspired Illustrations of NYC Synagogues

By Ben Fractenberg | March 25, 2013 1:35pm | Updated on March 25, 2013 2:42pm

NEW YORK CITY — Why is this night different from all other nights? Because on this night, the Haggadah is on a smartphone.

A Passover seder app, which can be used instead of a traditional Haggadah, features illustrations of famous New York City synagogues to accompany the holy holiday meal.

The Ultimate Digital Haggadah 2.0 — available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones — fuses medieval Spanish calligraphy and digital design to tell the story of the Jews' journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.

"The Haggadah App is a delightful method of bridging the old and the new," said Rabbi Hayiim Angel, Chief Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel, in a statement. "The painstaking efforts to beautify our sacred texts are nothing short of breathtaking. And harnessing this tradition to build community is a worthy effort."

Among the local synagogues featured in the app are the SoHo Synagogue, on 43 Crosby Street; the Congregation Shearith Israel, also known as the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, at 8 West 70th Street; and Congregation Shaare Zedek, also known as the Gates of Righteousness Synagogue, on West 93rd Street.

The app, which is 107 pages on the iPad and 214 on the iPhone and Droids, also shows each illustration being created and offers full-narration and Sephardic Jewish music.

The app is $4.99 and available on iOS App Store and Google Play.