Friday Night Hack, the first-ever dual hackathon focused on Israel and the Jewish world, will take place simultaneously in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv on July 19-20. More than 120 hackers are expected to participate in the 24-hour event, which is designed to leverage open data to foster greater collaboration, engagement and transparency. It is supported by the Schusterman Philanthropic Network and Israel-based Hasadna – The Public Knowledge Workshop.
Friday Night Hack will bring the do-gooder hacking culture of creating open-source, open-data software and applications for positive change to community projects related to Israel and the wider Jewish world. It will also begin to build a global network of hackers committed to devoting time and talent to strengthening communities across the Jewish world and Israel. For more information, please visit the Hackathon website at: fhn.hasadna.org.il/index.html.
Hackathons, also known as codefests, bring together developers, designers, programmers, coders and others with expertise in software development to collaborate intensively on building innovative technology-based applications for public use. Hackathons are often designed to address specific social, business, civic and education challenges.
“Our support for Friday Night Hack is rooted in our belief that technology, innovation and entrepreneurship have a key role to play addressing global challenges,” said Seth Cohen, Director of Network Initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, which is part of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network. “It is an amazing opportunity to bring together the innovation capitals of Tel Aviv and the greater Silicon Valley to hack for a good cause and to open up a flow of ideas between the innovation sector and the power, drive and creativity surfacing in the Jewish world.”
Friday Night Hack will feature projects within two main channels – one focused on strengthening the global Jewish community and the other on Israel. Hackers in each location can choose which channel to work on.
The event’s organizers are currently accepting proposals for the Jewish Channel, looking for apps that will engage young Jewish adults around the world. One project that has already been selected is “Open Dorms: College Roommate Finder App,” an application being developed to help Jewish students to find roommates in college with similar backgrounds and interests.
One of the tasks the hackers will take on for the Israel Channel is a collaborative push to work on the design and coding for “Open Muni – Open Budget,” an application created to make Israeli municipal budgets more transparent and accessible so local citizens can know more about how their funds are allocated and spent.
Friday Night Hack will open with a Shabbat dinner in each location and close 24 hours later with presentations during a wrap-up event. In the Bay Area, the hackathon is hosted in partnership with the innovation committee of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation. Because participants will work with open-source code, there will be opportunities following the hackathon to continue building on what is developed.
“Open Muni – Open Budget will strengthen leaders and citizens alike in Israel’s local municipalities by providing a platform that will allow sharing and social interaction with the budget and spending,” said Yuval Admon, CEO of Hasadna. “The technology behind it can also be adapted and adopted in municipalities around the world to provide a similar type of transparency. It is another example of how hackathons are a great way to get developers, coders and content creators together, working on building ideas into web and mobile applications and channeling creative energy into making our communities a better place.”
To submit a proposal for the Jewish Channel, please visit the Hackathon website at: fhn.hasadna.org.il/index.html.