Users Visit Holy Land on Facebook

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In an effort to help Internet users discover Israel’s holy places and modern sites, the Consulate General of Israel in New York has released a Facebook application of the Holy Land.

Holy Land Trivia: From Creation to Creativity, offers a pictorial encounter with many significant places in Israel, and gives users the opportunity to share newly-gained knowledge with Facebook friends.

The application, designed to appeal to users of all backgrounds and especially to Christians, contains three multiple-choice quizzes about different locations of interest throughout Israel. The questions cover knowledge on holy sites in Israel, modern Israel, and a combination of the two.

After submitting an answer, users will see a picture of the location as it exists today and at the end, their scores will be tabulated. They will then be able to share their scores with Facebook friends and compare knowledge on each of the subjects tested. Facebook members interested in seeking further information will be able to find it through links within the application. The application is available at: http://apps.facebook.com/holylandtrivia/welcome.php.

David Saranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs in New York who initiated the project, discussed the significance of the application: “The Pope’s visit gives us the opportunity to expose people to Israel’s historic locations as well as the modern Israel and all its many important sites,” Saranga said.

“Many people hear about Israel and the Holy Land in an abstract sense and we want to help develop their connection to the real place. We want to help people on Facebook appreciate the many sites in the Holy Land, including the Temple Mount, Bahai Gardens, and the Bauhaus buildings of Tel Aviv’s White City, and share what they learn with their friends,” he added.

This project bolsters the New York Consulate’s online and social-media presence, which includes pages on MySpace and Facebook, two blogs—IsRealli.org and IsraelPolitik.org—and an active stream on the Twitter micro blogging service.

Facebook.com, founded in 2004, is the world’s largest social-networking site, now boasting over 200 million members worldwide. During the past year, it has added 100 million members and continues to grow at a rapid pace. Its stated goal is to connect people globally and allow them to share information with one another.

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