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Lots of synagogues print up a customized calendar every year. (Sample.) Such a calendar includes shul-specific information (e.g. service times and maybe a weekly class or two) and general information (e.g. Shabbat times and holiday dates).

They post a copy on the front door; they may also hang a copy in the hallway or mail copies to their members.

Creating a synagogue calendar manually is drudge work, and it's easy to include careless mistakes.

Is there any software which can help?

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@MonicaCellio maybe this should be transferred to SU? – Shmuel Brin Dec 13 '13 at 17:50
@ShmuelBrin, it's a question about an aspect of Jewish life -- maybe not a strong question, but it doesn't seem off-topic to me. (Obviously if the community says otherwise through close votes, that's different.) That it's a self-answer calls for extra scrutiny but self-answers are permitted on Stack Exchange. Again, the community should feel free to act on all site content -- it was both closed and reopened by action of a single mod, so it's everybody else's turn now. – Monica Cellio Dec 17 '13 at 2:35
Related: "Digital Synagogue displays?" – jasonspiro Dec 26 '13 at 3:14
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There exist various options. Choose carefully.

Look for software which can generate .ics (iCalendar) files. This is the standard file format for calendar data interchange. Congregants can import .ics files into a wide variety of smartphones, computers, and online calendaring tools. You can also convert .ics files into other formats (like .html and .pdf); but it's impractical to convert other formats into .ics format. Even if you don't think you need to generate .ics files, congregants may request them later on.

Here are some options.

  • Free open-source software: "shulcalendar" by David Cashman and my friend Ari Brodsky.

    • I'm the "shulcalendar" open source project's janitor. Due to seeming lack of interest, there's no longer an up-to-date copy of the tool online. If you'd like a copy, please contact me. You can find all my contact information here.
    • It generates Excel spreadsheets formatted for printing. I think it also generates .ics format, which you can convert into lots of other formats.
    • You will need to install hebcal and Perl before you can run it.
  • "kalender2" (http://www.tichnut.de/jewish/index.php?os=web) by Ulrich Greve.

    • Generates only .html format.
    • The website says that, if you email him and specify which PHP version you're using, he'll send you the source code for your shul to use.
    • This was designed to generate general Jewish calendars. I doubt it was designed to generate information on service times. But if you can get the source code, you can add functionality and send back patches.
  • Commercial: ShulCloud.

    • <www.shulcloud.com/synagogue-schedules> plus <www.shulcloud.com/compare> imply that the "Standard" and "Premium" plans also include shul calendar generation. The "Standard" plan costs about $25/month for a small shul.
    • I'm not sure which formats it produces.
    • ShulCloud also includes a bunch of other features for synagogue management which are completely unrelated to calendar generation.

Please feel free to edit this post — even to better reflect your personal opinions.

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www.hebcal.com works nicely – Shalom Dec 17 '13 at 8:57
@Shalom: hebcal.com can generate a customized calendar for any given city in .ics format, including Shabbat times. But it can't calculate prayer service times automatically. You'd have to do all the calculations yourself, open up your favorite calendaring software, and enter in the prayer service times yourself: still a fair bit of work. – jasonspiro Dec 4 '14 at 1:13

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