Computing to Create Community

Computing to Create Community

Teaneck resident Daniel Harcsztark knows his way around computers. He can program them, fix them, and build them — and he builds software and Websites for a living.

A graduate of Queens College, the ‘6-year-old recently launched a site designed to enhance family simchas.

"When my sister, Valerie, had her first child in July ‘004, I decided to create a site for my niece," he says. "It got a lot of hits, and people started to offer me money to create similar sites for their special occasions."

Rather than create dozens of personal Websites, he set out to build an overall site that would be "intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for celebrating families to post photos and text themselves."

Six months later, eSimchas was born.

"We don’t have ads," Harcsztark points out, noting that "this keeps the site looking clean and makes it easier to navigate."

He says that eSimchas is "designed as a community, which means there’s a way for members to communicate with each other." The site contains an internal mail system to bring this about as well as discussion forums to promote member involvement.

In addition, the site offers customized formats for different types of events.

"A bar mitzvah, birth, and engagement do not require the same kind of information. You shouldn’t have to ‘improvise,’ filling out the wrong kind of template," he says.

Harcsztark is especially proud of what he terms the "functionality" of the site.

Says the site creator, "eSimchas has an interactive guestbook, allowing the poster to reply to messages from well-wishers, and posters can automatically enhance their photos, place them in folders, and notify their friends and family when they update their occasions."

Harcsztark believes creating an online photo album should be a pleasurable part of any celebration.

"It shouldn’t be a hassle," he says. "It should be easy and it should be fun."

To access the site, visit