Select Sidearea

Populate the sidearea with useful widgets. It’s simple to add images, categories, latest post, social media icon links, tag clouds, and more.

Virtual Passover: how we allowed family and friends to celebrate the Jewish holiday online

Virtual Passover: how we allowed family and friends to celebrate the Jewish holiday online

Virtual Passover: how we allowed family and friends to celebrate the Jewish holiday online

Today we step into an era of self-isolation and global lockdown. The virus has changed our lives dramatically. The whole of humanity is locked up in their houses and flats with no chance to go out and meet their friends. A lot of various, common activities were abandoned. But we found a way to work remotely, to buy products and goods remotely, almost everything that we can do remotely we are already doing. Still, there are a few areas of our lives which we can’t do remotely. Amongst all those activities that you cannot do normally are family traditions.

Especially if it’s religious. Families have been gathering together for ages, but this year they couldn’t. So Broscorp and our client JHN came to the rescue and invented Yahad.
Yahad, which means ‘together’ in Hebrew, is a service for spending Passover in an almost-usual way, as it was in pre-virus times. Usually, this Jewish holiday is spent gathering together with your relatives and reading ‘Agadot’, which simply means stories. Every part of the world has it’s own unique set of stories and it’s very important that the whole family reads the same page at the same time. So we have created a service that allows creating a room, sharing the link with your family, choosing one story from the various texts we’ve collected from our partners, and spend Passover together. Almost the same way you do it every year!

Since we built MVP, we first created a website that explained our idea and created a simple form to gather everyone who is interested in it. I think we achieved good results because we collected 500 emails in just one week.

One of the important decisions we made was to choose AWS as a one go shop to deploy everything we needed. At Broscorp we prefer to work with cloud services as they help get rid of the tons of headaches which you usually get with on-premise hardware.

Another important decision was to choose the right video call solution. This requires a separate article about the list of alternatives we considered using for our solution. To be brief, we chose Agora (agora.io). They provide a ready-to-go JavaScript SDK with which we easily implemented a meeting room.

And lastly, the most important decision was to go serverless. Overall, our API consists of four very simple endpoints, so we decided to create a pack of Python Lambdas. That gives us simplicity in deployment, out-of-the-box scalability at almost zero cost.

One important part of the success was Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. We used Bitbucket as a repository and using Bitbucket Pipelines we implemented a simple yet powerful way of deploying all the changes to the production environment in just seconds.

And finally, Passover came. With bated breath, we watched how hundreds of people around the world from Australia to the west coast of the United States honoured their family tradition despite the global pandemic. It is a great joy for our team that in this challenging time, we gave people this feeling of the family circle where, all together, you read these simple stories and smile at each other exactly like last year and many years earlier.

Now it has become clear to everyone that our world is rapidly changing. Here at Broscorp, we think that people don’t have to adapt to this new reality blindly. We should make it more convenient by preserving the important things that unite us. That’s why our team continues to monitor the needs of the world to come up with a solution in time. Stay tuned!

Write a comment