Throughout the past year, Jewish communities and individuals found new and innovative ways to increase their Jewish observance and engagement despite the global coronavirus pandemic, often by using technology to assist them in their efforts.

With synagogues around the world closed on Passover a year ago, one of the first uses of technology to aid in the performance of mitzvahs that were made more difficult by the pandemic was the widespread use of’s Omer Counter App. More than 2 million days were counted by users of the app last year, and an updated version for 2021 is now available on Apple’s App Store for iOS devices and Google’s Play Store for Android devices.

Perhaps one of the most difficult mitzvahs to fulfill in an ordinary year is the counting of the Omer, which requires that each sequential day be counted (after nightfall) without missing a day—from the second night of Passover all the way until the eve of Shavuot. (If one misses a day, one should still count, but without making a blessing before the counting.) Those who pray in synagogue have an easier time remembering the brief counting ceremony since it is included in the evening service.

In addition to remembering to count on each of 49 consecutive nights, the counter needs to verbalize that night’s count and the corresponding Kabbalistic formula—all that before daybreak, or at least before sunset the following evening.

Highly customizable, the app—with texts in Hebrew and English—tracks the user’s counting record and can then produce the appropriate text for that person (since a person who misses one day may no longer include the special blessing before counting on the subsequent nights that year). In addition to daily reminders, a live counter tells the user how much time remains for counting that day.

Beyond the mechanics of the daily count, the app also features a specially created “daily meditation” from Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, corresponding to the Kabbalistic mystical confluence of sefirot (“emanations”) associated with each day, as well as a wealth of insights and other information culled from’s repository of Jewish content.

For the novice just foraying into the intricacies of Hebrew reading, the app features a trainer that assists students by highlighting each word as it is chanted, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the Hebrew at their own pace. Supported on mobile devices and tablets, it is ideal for those learning while they are on the move.

Lead developer Dov Dukes noted that the technology for the trainer is built on’s “Torah Trainer,” which now includes all 54 Torah portions, their Haftarahs and the blessings recited before and after the readings.

“Omer Counter” is a part of’s Jewish Apps Suite, which strategically leverages’s content and know-how to other platforms.

Through the vision and generosity of a group of funders, the “Omer” app joins the “Hayom” app, the “Passover Assistant,” the “” Video app, the “Shabbat Times” app, a app for children and others—all designed to help bring Jewish wisdom and tools to the fingertips of users. Additional apps are in the planning and developmental stages by an international team.

The drive, vision for and underwriting of the apps, which are available free of charge, come from the generous partnership of Dovid and Malkie Smetana, Alan and Lori Zekelman, the Meromim Fund, and Moris and Lillian Tabacinic—all dedicated to spreading the wisdom and practice of Judaism worldwide.

“The possibilities in app development for a Jewish audience are virtually endless,” said director, Rabbi Meir Simcha Kogan. “We are determined to implement the drive and vision of our generous partners and our staff to use the best practices and highest standards in leveraging these technologies for strengthening Jewish awareness and observance.”

The “Omer Counter” app is available free of charge on Apple’s App Store for iOS devicesand Google’s Play Store for Android devices.