Technology Goes Kosher
Submitted to: Internet 
Posted: February 26 2007


February 26 2007 ( – Linguistic Agents, a Jerusalem-based startup in the field of Natural Language Understanding, today announced the launch of a new service, InfoJew. The SMS service will allow Jews to use their cell phones to find synagogues, kosher restaurants, Chabad houses, mikvehs (ritual purification baths) as well as the exact times for prayers, Shabbatot and holidays anywhere in the world.

“A member of our team recently found himself in Prague during his return journey from attending the 3GSM conference and had to SMS his wife, asking her to search online for the nearest kosher restaurant,” explained Simcha Margaliot, Senior Vice President and COO of Linguistic Agents with a smile. “It was then that we realized the enormous opportunity our technology holds in aiding traveling Jews. We’ve all found ourselves in a strange town looking for a place to grab a kosher meal, or wondering about the local time for Shabbat candle lighting.”

Margaliot added, “The fact that much of this information may be found on the internet, soon becomes irrelevant when one finds oneself in the middle of nowhere, far from an internet café. Time difference also plays a role – Can you really justify waking a friend in the middle of the night because you want a good steak?! InfoJew fills just that gap!”

InfoJew's services will be launched in March and will initially include information on all kosher restaurants, synagogues and mikvehs found in every major travel destination in Europe. The times of services, Shabbatot and holidays, as well as information such as data on local rabbis, Jewish tourist sites and Chabad houses will be added at a later stage, and will have coverage in Israel as well as in the rest of the world. Linguistic Agents is also in talks with various high-net-worth individuals interested in partnering with Linguistic Agents to create a system that will work anywhere, anytime, and will contain relevant information on all aspects of Jewish life.

InfoJew will be provided by a recently launched subsidiary of Linguistic Agents, Dialog Express. The company applies Linguistic Agents’ proprietary technologies in the field of Natural Language Understanding to advance information and content retrieval systems on several platforms, including Instant Messengers, E-Mail and SMS. Dialog Express’ mission is to allow users to receive information in the fastest, easiest way. In stark contrast to current SMS service user experience, Dialog Express allows users to ask for information in their own words, free from the burden of using complex menus or predefined question formats.

Linguistic Agents’ advanced technology enables travelers to ask any question relevant to the database in their own natural language. The system is sophisticated enough to understand the meaning behind each query and respond appropriately. When a query is too broad, InfoJew has the unique ability to conduct a dialog with users in order to understand the information they request. For example, if a Jewish traveler arrives in Budapest, he or she can send the following SMS message to InfoJew: “Where can I have dinner?” The platform will respond, asking “In which city are you looking for a kosher restaurant?” The user would respond “I’m in Budapest” and InfoJew would then provide a list of restaurants with addresses and phone numbers. The question “Where in Budapest can I eat?’ would simply result in the same list. Non-travelers can benefit from this service as well. For example, an Israeli will be able to ask “When is Shabbat in Jerusalem?” or “When is the latest possible time for Mincha (afternoon prayers) in Ramat Bet Shemesh?” Users will be able to write and receive answers to their queries in English or Hebrew, using Israeli and US cell phones.

Find more about the service at InfoJew will also include a dynamic database, allowing users to add and update information to the system.

About Linguistic Agents

Israel-based Linguistic Agents Ltd. has developed technology that serves as a bridge between Natural Language and Formal Language, thereby enabling machines to understand and act upon simple human language. Powered by the most advanced linguistic theories, Linguistic Agents offers the only advanced Natural Language parser that allows developers to easily incorporate natural language understanding in websites and applications. This enables the dissemination and understanding of information at a level of accuracy never before possible. The technology, while extremely powerful, operates on minimal system resources, allowing for seamless integration into existing and new applications in a vast array of environments and across various platforms.

For more information, please visit


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