ב״ה

Curious about the technical details?

The daily Chitas begins a week before, when a custom Adobe InDesign script is run, pulling pieces from previous years with the same kvius and putting them into the summary file and booklet files.

The images in the Yiddish booklet are reviewed manually, checking for errors, missing files, and updating for Shabbos and Yom Tov (color for Shabbos and Yom Tov, black and white for weekday). The updated pictures are pushed to the English, Hebrew, and French booklet files by another InDesign script.

The summary files are checked over for the first time, to catch missing pieces, comments added during a different kvius (i.e. Hakhel year, a certain shiur in Rambam, or a certain parsha), and formatting errors. Pieces are rearranged as necessary, and sometimes new ones added.

At this point, the Week in Advance files are generated, using a script that produces multiple booklet options and formats. As they were only checked over once, small mistakes or overlooked errors creep in (oops!).

The Chulsky family sends the French translations sometime after the Week in Advance is sent out.

The day before, the Chitas is checked over again, briefly, to prepare it to be sent to the Australia list, which needs to be sent in the afternoon NY time. The French captions are added if they were not put in yet, and the updated Hebrew captions and summaries are set up. Another script exports the files, and a PHP script generates the email using MailChimp's API. The email is then reviewed briefly and scheduled for the afteroon.

Later at night, the heavy duty work begins. The Chitas is learned inside, to ensure that the summaries are accurate. Sponsors are added to the summaries and booklets. Sections are rewritten or replaced as necessary, as not all of them were done properly the first time. The audio recording is made, using Audio Memos on an iPad, catching even more unclarities or inaccuracies.

The file is re-exported using the same script, and a new email produced. This is scheduled to be sent, and the audio file is edited in Ocenaudio. The volume is increased, and small musical interludes are added. A niggun is chosen for the end of the recording, author and length details are typed in, and it is exported as an mp3 file. It is uploaded to Libsyn, and renamed so that the email link will point to the file. Then it is sent via Whatsapp to the Europe and Australia list.

At 6:30 am, the audio file and link to the email are sent to the rest of the WhatsApp broadcast lists, just a few hours before the next day's Chitas work begins!