Grants:APG/Proposals/2016-2017 round 1/Wikimedia Israel/Progress report form

Purpose of the report


This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their progress after completing the first 6 months of their grants. The time period covered in this form will be the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). This form includes four sections, addressing global metrics, program stories, financial information, and compliance. Please contact APG/FDC staff if you have questions about this form, or concerns submitting it by the deadline. After submitting the form, organizations will also meet with APG staff to discuss their progress.

Global metrics overview - all programs


We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across our grantees' programs. Please use the table below to let us know how your programs contributed to the Global Metrics. We understand not all Global Metrics will be relevant for all programs, so feel free to put "0" where necessary. For each program include the following table and

  1. Next to each required metric, list the outcome achieved for all of your programs included in your proposal.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome.
  3. In addition to the Global Metrics as measures of success for your programs, there is another table format in which you may report on any OTHER relevant measures of your programs success

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved
2. # of new editors
3. # of individuals involved
4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects

Telling your program stories - all programs


Please tell the story of each of your programs included in your proposal. This is your chance to tell your story by using any additional metrics (beyond global metrics) that are relevant to your context, beyond the global metrics above. You should be reporting against the targets you set at the beginning of the year throughout the year. We have provided a template here below for you to report against your targets, but you are welcome to include this information in another way. Also, if you decided not to do a program that was included in your proposal or added a program not in the proposal, please explain this change. More resources for storytelling are at the end of this form. Here are some ways to tell your story.

  • We encourage you to share your successes and failures and what you are learning. Please also share why are these successes, failures, or learnings are important in your context. Reference learning patterns or other documentation.
  • Make clear connections between your offline activities and online results, as applicable. For example, explain how your education program activities is leading to quality content on Wikipedia.
  • We encourage you to tell your story in different ways by using videos, sound files, images (photos and infographics, e.g.), compelling quotes, and by linking directly to work you produce. You may highlight outcomes, learning, or metrics this way.
  • We encourage you to continue using dashboards, progress bars, and scorecards that you have used to illustrate your progress in the past, and to report consistently over time.
  • You are welcome to use the table below to report on any metrics or measures relevant to your program. These may or may not include the global metrics you put in the overview section above. You can also share your progress in another way if you do not find a table like this useful.
Target Last year (if applicable) Progress (at end of Q2) Projected (end of year) Comments
Example Example Example Example Example



Highlights of the Wikimedia Israel progress report:

  • Staff - The first six months of 2017 saw major changes in the personnel of Wikimedia Israel. Ran Li-On, a well-known Administrator at he-wp and an active Wikipedian for nearly a decade, has joined the WMIL team in April as Community Coordinator, after nearly 18 months in which the position was vacant. Ran is currently a part-time employee, and will start working full time in August. Chen Davidi Almog left the WMIL team in February, after more than four years. Chen was the first employee of WMIL and held several positions. In her last role she ran the Wikipedia Assignment Program (for higher education institutes) and took care of all the administrative issues of the organization, including running the budget. We split her position into two: two days a week for administration and full-time position for the Wikipedia Assignment Program. Yarden Ben Zvi takes care of all day-to-day issues related to the office running and the budget. Dr. Keren Shatzman is now the Academic & Projects Coordinator. Keren brings a wealth of experience from her previous work in publishing, at the academia and more. Keren works full time. Yarden and Keren started to work in February. After almost a year of fruitful work, Mohamad Abu-Elhega, the Education Coordinator for Arabic-Language Projects, had to leave our team, following a request from his hometown municipality to join a leading team of educational projects. In the past three months he worked on an hourly basis. We are looking for a new coordinator, and hope to fill the position before the beginning of the new school year in September.  
  • Expanding activities in higher education institutes - One of the goals for 2017 is to increase the volume of work with academic institutes. Accordingly, in the academic year of 2016-17, we have launched a new initiative with the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, namely the WikiCampus project, which is based on the Wikipedia Assignment Program. Fifteen lecturers took part in this project during the past academic year. At the end of the first semester, we reevaluated the model and made some adjustments to be implemented in the forthcoming academic year.
  • Middle & High School students editing Wikipedia is WMIL’s biggest program and it is very successful. We reach out to both Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking students (who edit on he-wp and ar-wp respectively). Thousands of students participated in the program during this past school year and wrote or expanded  hundreds of articles. For the first time, a Wikipedia article writing assignment was included in the matriculation exam in history. 38 students wrote 16 Wikipedia articles and nine articles were improved, which were graded and included in their final matriculation exam’s grade. They wrote about events in the history of the Italian Jewry during and after World War II.
  • We keep good relations with the Wikimedia communities. A month ago, an online WikiWomen course was concluded. Ten women took part in this course. They learned how to edit and have become a solid group in which members support each other. We have reevaluated our process of work process with the Hebrew Wiktionary community, looking for new ways to expand this project and its community.
  • Senior citizens - For the first time, Wikimedia Israel reached out to retired senior citizens as a target group. Two courses for senior citizens were opened, with the support of the Hurvitz Foundation - one in Jerusalem and the other in Tel Aviv. Each course included four sessions. In addition to editing skills, our goal was to bring some of the participants to our community activities, such as “Thousands Words” tours, workshops, etc. We are delighted to see that a few of the retired senior citizens have already took part in such activities. We hope that some of them will become active editors and Wikimedians.
  • Finally, we are amid preparations for WMIL’s 10th anniversary, which will be celebrated on 6 September this year. Christophe Henner, the chairperson of the Wikimedia Foundation, will take part in the celebration.

Table 3

Shared metrics

  1. Participants: The number of people who attend your events, programs or activities, either in person or virtually. This definition does not include people organizing activities, social media followers, donors, or others not participating directly.
  2. Newly registered: The number of participants that create new accounts on a Wikimedia project. These include users who register up to two weeks before the start of the event.
  3. Content pages: A content page is an article on Wikipedia, an item on Wikidata, a content page on Wikisource, an entry on Wiktionary, and a media file on Commons, etc. This metric captures the total number of content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects.

Grantee-defined metrics

  1. Additional Metric A:
  2. Additional Metric B:
Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Additional Metric A Additional Metric B
Community support: Hebrew Wikipedia 615 205 WikiGnomings - 10K instances of wikignoming, 500 new or significantly improved articles, 50 images 50 continuous editors 300 unique participants in face-to-face activities
H1 216 44 WikiGnomings - 4,157; New or improved articles - 239, new images - 5,996, Of which were incorporated into articles - 244. 11 continuous editors 140 unique participants in face-to-face activities
Hebrew Wiktionary 123 20 400 7 continuous editors 7 editors to take leading positions
H1 33 17 105 2 continuous editors 2 editors taking a leading positions
Developers' meetups 90 6
H1 35 3
Ladino Wikipedia (lad-wp) 15 10 50 5 continuous editors 2 partners
H1 0 0 0 We will relate to this figure in the next half.
Education: Hebrew-speaking high-schools 2300 750 510 articles, 100 images 60% of the articles to be defined as "quality articles" according to this guide: Article Assessment for Student Assignments – For Teacher 2 umbrella organizations and 7 educational organizations maintain their collaboration with Wikimedia Israel
H1 2026 738 374 articles (304 new articles + 70 significant expansions), 170 WikiGnomings, 293 Files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, 223 out of which (=~76%) incorporated into the mainspace in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. We will relate to this figure in the next half. Between the 2015-2016 academic year and the 2016-2017 academic year: 3 umbrella organizations + 3 additional educational organizations. Between the 2016-2017 academic year and the 2017-2018 academic year: 4 umbrella organizations + 9 additional educational organizations.
Education: Arabic-speaking high-schools 100 50 50 articles, 10 images 5 schools to join the program 3 schools continue to the next school year
H1 177 110 64 new articles, 3 improved articles 8 We will relate to this figure in the next half
Higher education 1100 650 650 50% of the articles to be defined as "quality articles" according to the article quality indicator 15 professors continue to the next academic year
H1 730 296 208 new, 72 expanded, 111 Wikignome
Training (volunteer Team of instructors + trainig tools) 16 face-to-face instructors 4 new volunteers to join the team of instuctors Developing and updating at least 6 training tools Grow the Wikimedia Israel volunteer team and provide them with support by: (1) support and personal guidance; (2) 6 training sessions for the team of volunteer instructors are held (of which at least 4 online and at least 1 face-to-face; 70% of volunteers attend at least one meeting)
H1 24 face-to-face instructors + 30 onlie instructors + 349 courseware users 4 new volunteers joined the team of instuctors + 299 new editors who used the courseware 85 new Wikipedia articles, 153 expansions of Wikipedia articles, 8 files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (of which 5 were incorporated into articles), 870 WikiGnomings Tools updated: 1 major tool + 8 additional tools; Tools updated: 1 major tool + 3 additional tools (1) support and personal guidance were given by training coordinator; (2) 3 online training sessions for the team of volunteer instructors were held (~80% of the relevant volunteers attended at least one meeting)

H1 2017 - 3,620

2017 - 1,695

H1 2017 - 1,511

2017 - 12,320

H1 2017 -

Articles - 6,611 (5,308 WikiGnoms; 1,303 new + expanded articles);

Images - 6,297 (of which 472 were incorporated into articles).

Table 3 notes:

Community Support


Hebrew Wikipedia


Program Participants Newly registered Content pages New pictures New pictures in articals Continuous No of unique participants
Community support: Hebrew Wikipedia 615 205 WikiGnomings - 10,000; New or improved articles 500 50 300
H1 216 44 WikiGnomings - 4,157; New or improved articles 239 6,340 258 11 140

Goals and Objectives

  • Supporting face-to-face activities of the Wikipedia community with the participation of at least 300 individuals, of which at least 30 are new participants.
  • Establishing contact with 70% of the participants in the chapter’s activities (excluding middle- and high-school students), with 20% of participants continuing to take part in further activities and editing for two months after being contacted.
  • Supporting 20 new and long-standing editors, Wikimedians and other active contributors, by providing expertise, financial aid and other resources.
  • The chapter supports the WikiWomen project through local assistance in organizing activities and providing support for participants, providing office space for local WikiWomen meetups, etc.
The logo for the 200K articles on a T-Shirt

From December 2015 till April 2017 WMIL's Community Coordinator position was vacant. As a result, it was difficult to promote initiatives and cooperations with Wikipedia editors, as well as recruiting new editors for Wikipedia activities. Nevertheless, and thanks to the dedicated work of the team, good relations with the community and Wikipedia editors maintained even during this period. In January 2017 a special Wikipedian meetup was held on the occasion of he-wp reaching 200 thousand articles. This meetup included a social gathering, lectures in various subjects and general presentation of WMIL's activities. About 60 Wikipedians took part in this meetup, which had been planned and organized by the WMIL team in close cooperation with Wikipedia volunteers. Effort was made to bring to this meetup also editors who are not very active and new editors. Two new editors attended. T-shirts with a specially designed logo were distributed to the attending editors.

In April, Ran Li-On, the new Community Coordinator and a long-standing editor and he-wp administrator, started working on a part-time basis. As a result, we saw a rise in activity during the past two months, and we expect this trend to continue in the second half of 2017. In May, WMIL initiated “improvement drive” of categories, in which 21 Wikipedians took part. Altogether, 3,830 articles were categorized (including removal of bogus categories and creation of new categories). WMIL also offered rewards to the participants. One of he-wp bureaucrats said it was “a blessed initiative that we should consider expanding to other fields as well”.

June saw an initial cooperation between WMIL and Yad Levi Eshkol, an NPO that works to preserve the legacy of the third Israeli PM, Levi Eshkol, who led the country during the war of 1967. WMIL launched an article writing competition on the subject of “50 years to the Six-Day War and the legacy of Levi Eshkol”. The competition started on 4 June and will end on 20 July. Until now, 30 editors joined the competition (which is still ongoing), a significant number of whom are new editors who never edited in the past. WMIL initiated a tour for Wikipedians at the premises of Yad Levi Eshkol and will hold two editing meetups at Yad Levi Eshkol in Jerusalem and at the Beit Ariela Shaar Zion public library in Tel Aviv. Also in June, a new process has started aiming at creating contacts with Wikipedia editors with low to intermediate level of activity (20-50 edits per month) and convincing them to join Wikipedia and Wikimedia activities. For this end, we created a list of 116 editors according to the aforementioned criterion. We emailed 56 of them - the ones who allow sending emails through the Wikipedia interface (on he-wp writing multiple messages on personal talk pages is considered a form of spam and therefore is unacceptable). In these emails, the Community Coordinator presented himself and WMIL and invited the editor to a gathering and a lecture. Six editors of those emailed expressed interest in this offer (five of them were interested in joining WMIL’s maling list). Owing to the low number of interested editors, we decided to postpone this gathering but the Community Coordinator will stay in touch with those who showed interest.

We resumed the micro-grant program. We rewrote and republished the micro-grant procedure. We received five new requests for micro-grants and approved two of them. One for purchasing a book that will help in writing several articles (at least four), and another one, coming from one of the most active volunteers in the field of photography, for purchasing a Nikon 1.8f 50mm camera lens.

During the first half of 2017, WMIL continued to support the activities of both new and long-standing Wikipedians. As part of the micro-grant program, two long-standing Wikipedians received a financial grant to promote and create content. In addition, we managed to increase the engagement of a new Wikipedian in WMIL activities. This Wikipedian was invited to take part in an editors’ meetup in an attempt to increase his level of activity. Even though the meetup was eventually canceled, this new Wikipedian chose to come to WMIL office anyway. We offered him information and tips on how to become more engaged in he-wp and our activities. We also provided training and editing instructions to five new Wikipedians during the WikiWomen workshops, and to six new editors who took part in the online course.

WMIL continues to follow the activity of he-wp editors and maintain close relations with them. An example for that is the assistance we offered to a young editor, who complained on he-wp’s “village pump” about harassments by a known local media celebrity following edits he had made to a certain article.

In addition, WMIL is constantly working to release free images, so that they can be uploaded onto Wikipedia articles. We do that in the framework of the article writing competitions, as well as on other occasions. In the past two months, WMIL managed to bring about the release of 5758 images owned by the Government Press Office. These images were incorporated in various Wikipedia articles with the help of WMIL volunteers and Wikipedia editors. Another 21 images were released by Yad Levi Eshkol as part of the aforementioned article writing competition. 238 images were incorporated in articles

During the first half of 2017, three “Thousand Words” tours were held. In these tours, Wikipedians visit heritage site across Israel, take pictures and incorporate them in relevant Wikipedia articles. Overall, 32 Wikipedians took part in these tours, and they uploaded 496 new images. Further to the tours 2 articles were written and 6 images were incorporated in articles.



Many different activities took place regarding closing the gender gap:

  • Eight articles were translated to Hebrew as part of the African Women Translate-a-thon.
  • 55 articles were written and translated during the international contest The Women you never met. Wikimedia Israel has been running contests in the last three years. This year, for the first time, more than half of the participants were active Wikipedians. Another interesting thing that happened during the contest was that we welcomed Wikipedians to choose a woman that was not part of the initial list of the contest, add her name and write the article about her. This action encouraged more editors to participate.
  • As part of the Art+Feminism events in March 2017, Wikimedia Israel organized an edit-a-thon in collaboration with ARTPORT TLV. ARTPORT is a center for young artists. Eight women took part in the event, 5 of them were new editors. At the end of the event eight articles about women artists were translated.
  • Six monthly meetups took place in the Wikimedia Israel office. The atmosphere in these meetings is always pleasant and fun. A total of 40 women participated in these meetings.
  • The highlight of the activities was the online course

WikiWomen online course

Why online? Because we would like to reach out to women who cannot come to f2f meetings in Tel Aviv

Who ran the course? Two amazing women! Tsipi Eran - the founder and the leading figure of Wiki-Women, and Avigail Erenkrantz Hotzen, an online course facilitator who specializes in group dynamics.

What platforms were used? Padlet and Google Hangout.

Where was the course advertised? Mostly on Facebook (women and feminist groups) and paid ads too.

Could anyone participate? Any woman who wished to participate in the course had to do WMIL’s courseware for editing Wikipedia, start to write a draft and pay a small fee. Ten women participated in the course.

How was the course structured? Six weekly meetings of an hour and half. The seventh meeting will take place in a month. There were tasks between the meetings.

So...what happened there? The course had two tracks. The first, getting to know Wikipedia and its community, editing and talking on talk pages etc. The second track was to create a supportive group. From the 2nd meeting on, one of the women would share a draft of an article she had worked on on Padlet and the other participants would peer-review it. Besides the peer-review, in each meeting some time was dedicated for socializing.

Results: 11 new articles were written and 57 articles were improved. 6 women are still editing.

Wikipedia course for retired senior citizens


As part of our annual goal to offer four courses for special interest groups, we have launched a Wikipedia training program for retired senior citizens. In May and June, two courses based on this program were opened, one at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv, and the other one at the National Library in Jerusalem.

Senior citizens Wikipedia workshop, National library 2017

Retired senior citizens were chosen as a target audience, as it is a group that includes many educated and knowledgeable people with long-standing experience in various fields. Nowadays, many of these people have experience in working with computers (computer literacy, which used to be a problem when working with the older generation in the past, is not a significant issue anymore). Retired senior citizens usually have plenty of free time. Many of them serve as volunteers in various environments to enrich their experience, fill their spare time and sometimes also to combat their loneliness. In this course, we put special emphasis on the fact that Wikipedia editing was not merely part of the information revolution and a contribution to one of the most influential collaborative projects, but also an opportunity for social interaction and entering the wider community of Wikipedia editors. To assess the level of computer literacy, a test of computer-related skills was conducted as part of the registration process. The main part of this test was a questionnaire based on the Computer Literacy Scale test for adults, which had been developed and validated by Sengpiel & Dittberner in 2008. The test’s grade is made of two components: first, the participants are requested to fill out a questionnaire, in which they state the frequency in which they use a computer for various purposes (e.g. word processing, image processing, Internet surfing etc); secondly, the participants are requested to link between icons that normally appear in a technological computerized environment and the action that they represent. In addition to filling out the questionnaire, the registered were requested to send via email a screenshot of any Wikipedia article.

Part of the test used to screen senior citizens according to their computer skills

Information about the course was published on WMIL’s website and on its Facebook page. The word was also spread through the mailing lists of Beit Hatfutsot and the National Library, through Google Adwords and through a paid promotion campaign on Facebook. We were surprised to learn that the majority of registered came through the Facebook campaign. Whereas the number of registered during the month before the Facebook campaign reached only 22, on the first day of the campaign another 21 people were registered, and their number reached 50 within a week. Overall, we received 90 requests for registration for both courses. Since the number of available places in each course is limited (15 people in Tel Aviv and 18 in Jerusalem), we chose those who received the highest grade in the test and sent the above-mentioned screenshot.

The course included four meetings held every other week in Tel Aviv and once a week in Jerusalem. Each meeting lasted four hours and included a lecture and editing practice. Following each meeting, an email with summary and homework was sent to each participant. The course program was as follows:

  • The first meeting included an introductory lecture about Wikipedia. Then, the participants were requested to open a Wikipedia account, create their own user page and experience editing with the visual editor. For the next meeting, they were asked to pick an existing article on Wikipedia, which they would like to expand, and to bring the source on which the expansion would be based.
  • The second meeting’s lecture focused on basic principles of Wikipedia editing: verification of information, no original research and neutral point of view. The editing practice included editing of the pre-chosen articles and adding information to them, based on the source, which they had brought with them. The participants also learned basic rules of writing on talk pages in source code: tagging another user, creating a link, text indention and signature. They were also asked to choose a topic for a new article to be written in the next meeting.
  • In the third meeting, the process of starting a new article was presented. Special emphasis was put on choosing an appropriate topic, notability, finding appropriate sources, the structure of an article, technical aspects and language issues. As part of the editing practice, the participants started drafts in which they wrote a first version of their new articles. Their homework was to continue writing these articles.
  • The fourth meeting started with the practice - the participants continued editing and presented difficulties and issues, which they had encountered, before the class. The second part of this meeting dealt with how to upload media files, the related copyright issues and a summary of the entire course.

The entire course emphasized the social and community aspect of Wikipedia. Each meeting was attended by a WMIL volunteer, who is a Wikipedian, and preferably a retired senior citizen her/himself. The participants were invited to join Wikipedia community meetups that were held during the time of the course, such as “Thousand Words” tours, editing meetups and other similar activities. So far, 10 participants (out of 27) have joined one or more community activity. To encourage continuous activity, we plan to hold follow-up meetings once a month.

In the last meeting, participants were asked to fill out an anonymous feedback questionnaire, and rank (1-6) various aspects of the course. The feedback was very positive. The vast majority said the course contributed to their understanding of Wikipedia (5.5 on average), teaching was clear and interesting (5.9 on average) and that there was high plausibility that they would continue editing in the future (5.5 on average). Even though the majority said the editing practice had been sufficient (5 on average), many of them added a remark that they would like to have more practice, especially guided practice. All participants, with no exception, said they would recommend the course to their friends.

Up until now, seven new articles created by retired senior citizens have been uploaded to the article namespace. There were 21 expansions of articles and 57 instances of Wikignoming. A significant challenge of the work with this group is the amount of practice required for most of them in order to become skilled Wikipedia editors. Despite having sufficient experience in working with computers, it seems that most of them need more editing practice than the course could offer. We found out that the excitement about the course itself did not result in further self training at home, which is necessary for mastering the editing skills learned at the meetings. A significant number of participants did not edit at home between the meetings at all. During the second half of 2017, two additional courses will be held, in which we will implement changes aimed at improving the participants’ editing skills.

WMIL’s day-to-day activity is highly appreciated by Wikipedia editors for a long time. As one of the Admins put it, in a discussion about one of the editing competitions, “I think we should thank you and WMIL for your abundant activities. A collection of 55 articles is a respectable harvest coming from this competition. It is very much thanks to you, and it adds up to all the other blessed activities and ideas that you promote”. As the discussion went on, another user wrote, “Thanks and kudos to [Michal] Lester for such a respectable and respectful decision that brought all parties into account in a beautiful and considerate way. And generally speaking, bless you for all you’ve been doing here”.

Hebrew Wiktionary


Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Continuous Leading positions
Hebrew Wiktionary 123 20 400 7 7
H1 33 17 105 2 2

Grantee-defined metrics

  • Continuous - A new editor that participated in one of Wikimedia Israel activities and continued editing for two months after being recontacted
  • Leading positions - editors who take upon themselves roles in content creation activities or in social activities

Goals and Objectives

Reinforce the sense of community of editors and contributors taking part in the Hebrew Wiktionary project through the support of at least three face-to-face meetings.

  • Wikimedia Israel supports at least three content creation activities for the Hebrew Wiktionary, which include the creation or expansion of at least 400 articles, with the participation of more than 100 contributors.
  • Recruit at least five editors to lead activities during the year.
  • Retain 50% of the course participants and ensure their continued contribution, through integrating them with online and offline activities of Wiktionary.

The close cooperation between WMIL and the he-wiktionary community went on fully also during the first half of 2017. This cooperation included meetings and many phone calls between WMIL members and central he-wiktionary editors, as part of a series of consultations about various issues related to this project.

On 14 January 2017, we concluded the entry writing competition on he-wiktionary. This competition was launched and managed by WMIL in cooperation with the Hebrew Language Academy and central editors of he-wiktionary. Overall, the competition yielded 105 new dictionary entries written by 31 editors, many of them were new. The competition received vast coverage in the local media. You can see news items about it here, here and here.

At the end of April 2017, about three months after the competition, a meeting was held to exchange views about future actions to expand the he-wiktionary project, recruit new editors and improve the content in volume and quality. The meeting was attended by WMIL members, the scientific advisor of the Hebrew Language Academy, a long-standing editor of he-wiktionary and a Wikipedian who is mainly involved in technical aspects of Wikipedia. In this meeting we decided to postpone the opening of the next Wiktionary editing course for the general public (such courses were held in 2015 and 2016), and to focus on systematic and organized activity aimed at reaching new comprehensive policy rules for the project. We also decided to spot necessary technical changes and encourage the developers’ group to handle them. One of the technical changes we decided to introduce was splitting multi-entry articles, i.e. articles that include several homographic entries, into several shorter articles, each containing one entry.

Following the meeting, and with WMIL’s support, a new initiative was launched on he-wiktionary, the “Meticulous Editing Project”, aimed at systematic profound and collaborative writing of basic entries in Hebrew, which had been so far missing from he-wiktionary. We also started to form a group of knowledgeable people who could help expanding entries on he-wiktionary, each in her/his field of profession.

WMIL will continue to offer support for he-wiktionary activities during the second half of 2017. As a first stage, we plan to hold a joint meeting of all editors at the WMIL office to distribute tasks and set schedules for the joint work. It is important to point out that the level of activity on he-wiktionary has already increased, but we hope to strengthen this trend and expand the scope of activities during the second half of this year.

Community Support: New directions


Developers Meetups

  • In 2017 we seek to continue holding nine regular meetings for developers, with the participation of some 10 developers in each meeting.
  • We will make every effort to increase the number of participants in each meeting, engage new participants (with developing skills) from other Wikimedia projects, universities, and the like.
  • We will engage at least six new developers in the meetups.
  • By the end of the year we will hold an annual Hackathon in which at least 40 developers will take part.

Note: the metrics for the developers meetups program refer only to the participants and not to products because we are not familiar yet with software development outcomes.

Three developers’ meetups were held during the first half of 2017. Each meetup was attended by seven developers. From May onwards, this meetups are held on a monthly basis. With the help of a central Wikipedian in the development field, and a he-wp bureaucrat, we created a task list to be followed during these meetups. This list is updated regularly.

In the past two months, we have been working to expand the local Wikipedia developers’ community. To this end, WMIL will lead a track at the August Pinguin Conference (the annual conference of the free software community in Israel), which will be held in September. We also consider, together with members of the developers’ community, to contact various academic institutes, in an effort to include Wikipedia development projects in the assignments given to students who study for technological academic degrees. Such cooperation has never been conducted in the past, and were are currently examining ways to promote projects through this method.

We still do not have a permanent group of developers who work on predefined projects. This is our major challenge for the coming months.

Ladino Wikipedia

Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Continuous Partners
Ladino Wikipedia 15 10 50 5 2
H1 0 0 0 0 0

Grantee-defined metrics

  • Continuous - A new editor that participated in one of Wikimedia Israel activities and continued editing for two months after being recontacted.
  • Partners - Organizations that allow us to reach new audiences without them WMIL could not improve our reach.

Goals and Objectives

Recruit one or two active editors and one to two offline volunteers to run an editing course in Ladino language.

  • Build a partnership with one or two organizations for enrollment of participants and running a course.
  • During 2017 50 articles are written by 10 new editors. 20% of them will continue editing two month after the course

During the first half of 2017, we managed to contact a long-standing editor of the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) Wikipedia, hoping to establish communication and cooperation for the future. The actual activity for promoting the Ladino Wikipedia is expected to start at the end of this year’s third quarter, and it will continue throughout the fourth quarter.



Programs in Hebrew (Middle & High schools)


Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Article Assessment Continued cooperation
Education: High schools (Hebrew) 2300 750 610 ; 510 articles and 100 images 60% of the articles Two umbrella organizations + 7 educational organizations
H1 2026 738 374 articles (304 new articles + 70 significant expansions),

170 WikiGnomings,

293 Files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, 223 out of which (=~76%) incorporated into the mainspace in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

We will relate to this figure in the next half. Between the 2015-2016 academic year and the 2016-2017 academic year: 3 umbrella organizations + 3 additional educational organizations (out of 6 that were interested to continue - see note below the table).

Between the 2016-2017 academic year and the 2016-2017 academic year: 4 umbrella organizations + 9 additional educational organizations.

Note:The reasons for the suspension of activity in three organizations that expressed an interest in continuing: health problems of a leading volunteer, internal constraints within these organizations and our dissatisfaction with the conduct of the educational staff.

Grantee-defined metrics

  • Article Assessment - 60% of the articles are defined as "quality articles" according to the Article Assessment for Student Assignments – For Teacher
  • Two umbrella organisations and seven educational organizations will continue the collaboration with Wikimedia Israel in the articles writing program. More than 50% of the classes we work with, are operated under the two umbrella organisations.

Goals and Objectives

  • Create or expand 480 Hebrew Wikipedia articles by students from 40 classes.
  • Recruit at least 20 additional teachers to the program of article writing by students for the academic year 2017-2018.
  • At least 50% of educational institutions run the program for article writing by students will continue for another year.
  • Some 200 teachers participate in the online training about the use of Wikipedia and its pedagogic implementation. 75% of them will testify that they integrated content taken from the training seminar into their teaching program or that they discussed some of the issues included in the training seminar material with their students.
  • 40 teachers will continue to the advanced training seminar and will create or expand 30 Wikipedia articles.
  • Creation and integration of 100 images in Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia by students from 4 classes.

The “Students Write on Wikipedia” program

Celebrating the completion of a project, Ort Afridar, Ashkelon: Sarit Malka and Michal Rekler (the leading teachers) with Shai (WMIL's edtucation and training coordinator)

In the first half of 2017, 14 Hebrew-speaking educational institutes took part in the “Students Write on Wikipedia” program. These included:

  1. Four umbrella organizations that govern various youth programs (of which we worked with four) and many schools (of which we worked with 17);
  2. Ten individual schools across Israel.

Trends we observed during the first half of 2017:

  • Continuation of the transition to teacher-led projects - Initially, the program was led by WMIL volunteers who specialized in the fields of education and instruction. Today, these volunteers still have a major role in the program’s projects, but they act as supporters rather than leaders. This change in the modus operandi allowed us to expand the program, as we are not confined anymore to the number of available volunteers.
  • Taking roots, expanding and diversifying - Every year the program takes deeper roots, expands and becomes more diversified in terms of participants (students, teachers and educational institutes) and products. During the first half of 2017, these trends were especially felt in the following aspects:
  • Expanding the knowledge fields in which the program is implemented - In the past, the vast majority of the program’s projects were included in the field of Hebrew language and writing. In the first half of 2017 we put special emphasis on expanding the program to two other knowledge fields: natural science and history. These fields offer us new opportunities. The structure of the history curriculum often allows incorporating Wikipedia article writing as a significant part of the assignments for the matriculation exams (two of the schools took indeed this opportunity and offered Wikipedia article writing as an assignment for these exams).
  • Diversifying the assignments included in the program - In the past, we almost always suggested that the students write new articles. However, during the school year of 2016-17, we initiated two projects that were completely dedicated to the expansion of existing Wikipedia articles. We did that after developing special methodology and instruction tools to this end (see below in “Instruction”). These two projects were successful, and so we now offer two kinds of writing assignments: writing new articles and expanding existing articles.
  • Long-standing projects taking deeper roots and expanding - In long-standing projects, the first half of 2017 saw significant expansion in the scope of activity and stronger establishment of the working methods.
  • Multidisciplinarity - Some of the projects in the first half of 2017 had interdisciplinary cooperation between a Hebrew language teacher and a teacher of another field of knowledge. This approach will expand in the forthcoming school year.
  • Continuation of cooperations - Nearly 93% (13 out of 14) of the educational institutes that concluded Wikipedia article writing assignment projects in the first half of 2017 are interested in having this cooperation with WMIL also during the school year of 2017-18. Among this institute are also the abvementioned umbrella organizations.

Naturally, beside successes, we also encountered challenges. The main two challenges were the following:

  • Quality of products - In 4 of the 14 projects, the students wrote articles that were not satisfactory in terms of quality. In each of these four projects we dealt with this challenge in at least one of the following ways:
  1. recruiting senior teachers from the educational teams for an accelerated process of work with the students;
  2. adding a stage in which a WMIL team member or volunteer makes fine-tuning adjustments to the student’s article so it better meet Wikipedia’s criteria;
  3. adding new contents to the teachers’ training ahead of the next school year;
  4. adjusting the model of work ahead of the next school year;
  5. focusing on projects aimed at gifted students, who have better writing skills, in the forthcoming school year;
  6. in one case - terminating the cooperation in the next school year.
  • Time resources - Most projects were time consuming, owing to the amount of time required for guiding and monitoring by the Education Coordinator. The issue of available time resources is a bottleneck which hinders the expansion of the program. We hope to minimize this issue by working with continuing educators, who join this program year after year and therefore have valuable experience, by focusing on projects aimed at gifted students, whose high skills minimize the need for scrutiny and by delegating some of the Coordinator’s duties to WMIL volunteers, to the teachers and even to students (letting volunteers act as teacher guides and letting teachers, volunteers and experienced students lead editing workshops).

Celebrating the completion of 'Student Write Wikipedia' projects: images

The Lady Davis Project - A Historical Detective Journey to the Displaced Persons Camps in Italy During the 1940s

Avner, a WMIL's volunteer, leads a workshop in the interdisciplinary school Ammal Lady Davis
Celebrating the completion of the project - Amos Raban with his students, their family members and people who supported the project (in the background you can see the project's final exhibition)

Ahead of the second half of 2017, we received a request for cooperation from Mr. Amos Rabban, a teacher and the head of the expanded history study department at the interdisciplinary school Ammal Lady David in Tel Aviv. Mr. Rabban conceived the idea in a peculiar way: his students participated in the production of educational materials for an exhibition at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, which was dedicated to the displaced persons camps in Italy following World War II (curator: Ms. Rachel Bonfil, images and information in Hebrew). The exhibition brought him to raise questions about his own family history, especially about his aunt Shoshana - how she arrived in Italy following the Holocaust, what she did there, how she met her grandfather and why the two of them left Italy to Israel.

Mr. Rabban recruited his students to investigate these questions and learn history through the stories of Shoshana and other important figures (Jews and non-Jews) whose life story was linked to Italy during WW2 and the post-war years. Moreover, he wanted that his students share the knowledge they had acquired with the public by writing Wikipedia articles. The articles were to be graded and have the weight of a full unit in the final grade of these students’ matriculation exam in history.

Throughout the year, we had the privilege of guiding Mr. Rabban and his students in planning the stages of work and choosing the articles’ topics. We contacted between them and Mr. Avner Afendovich, a Wikipedian and WMIL volunteer, who answered their questions and supported their work. We held a comprehensive editing workshop for them and helped them to overcome copyright issues related to some of the files.

Every now and then, we received exciting phone calls and emails from Mr. Rabban. Each of them described heartwarming developments in the process of work. Mr. Rabban was able to organize an educational journey to Italy, while making contact between his students and Italian students who took part in a similar project. He managed to recruit eyewitnesses, family members of eyewitnesses and specialist on this subject from Italy and Israel to support this project. He also organized visits to libraries and archives.

The 26 students who took part in this project enriched the Hebrew Wikipedia with 16 new quality articles, 2 significant expansions of existing articles and Wikignoming in 52 articles. Wikimedia Commons received 60 new free-licensed files, some of them are rare images and historical documents, 36 of which were incorporated in Hebrew Wikipedia articles. The students and Mr. Rabban even initiated a change to an information template on he-wp dedicated to Righteous Among the Nations. With the help of a WMIL volunteer, the change was implemented and the new version of the template now appears in various articles, such as this one, written by the students.

Not only the students, but Mr. Rabban himself opened a user account on he-wp, through which he continued to improve his students’ articles and even edited various other articles. The new articles and the expansions created by Mr. Rabban and his students are some of the most impressive products of WMIL’s education program during the first half of 2017.

The project was concluded with an exciting event attended by the students and their families. The project and its products were presented with presentations, a film and an exhibition, all created by the students. Shortly afterward, we learned that the project won the Education Prize of Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies and that the next round of this project, to take place in the forthcoming school year, will be supported by the Fund for Innovative Teaching, which works in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education.

We are very proud to be part of this distinct educational project and happy about Mr. Rabban’s intention to continue this cooperation also in the coming school year.

Valued Image Project

Valued Image: a picture from the project that was incorporated into the he-wp article "Candy"
Valued Image: final exhibitionat the street gallery in Ramat HaSharon

According to our 2017 work plan, we launched in the first half of 2017 an educational project in which students created images and uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia. This project was entitled “Valued Image”. Three photography-oriented classes from two Israeli high schools took part in this project. The students created 192 high-quality images, uploaded them onto Wikimedia Commons and incorporated 152 of them (~80%) in 165 pages of the article namespace of he-wp and other Wikipedias (some images were incorporated in more than one page).

The project took the form of a prize-winning competition. The prizes awarded were given to the entire class as a whole, however, several students who presented distinct high-quality works received individual prizes. All prizes had educational value and aimed at encouraging the students’ activity as young photographers.

The image evaluation was carried out by referees who specialize in photography and/or Wikipedia editing. The evaluation was on two scales: artistic scale, taking into account professional and aesthetic criteria, and Wikipedia-contextual scale, taking into account the level in which the image serves the Wikipedia article in which it was incorporated.

The project was concluded with an exhibition at the street gallery in Ramat HaSharon, sponsored by the local municipality. The teams of educators and the students visited the exhibition, where they were awarded with the prizes and received letters of appreciation.

The success of this project is evident, among other things, from the choice of the participating institutes to continue organizing it also during the next school year of 2017-18.

For us, one of the most satisfying aspects of this project was the ability to diversify our target audience. Up until now, we have been focusing on writing assignment for middle- and high-school students, therefore, we normally worked with students who had good writing skills. This photography project allowed us to reach out to students who prefer artistic visual expression, among them students who have difficulties integrating in the mainstream pre-academic school programs. We are especially proud about bringing these young photographers into the community of Wikimedia contributors, providing them an outlet to show their products and an additional channel for self-empowerment.

We were happy to find out that the editors of he-wp chose one of the images as “image of the day” (see here), regardless of WMIL’s activity.

Following its success, this project will continue in the school year of 2017-18. We plan to double the number of participating classes. Ahead of its resumption, we will produce new instructional tools about copyrights and free content. Further information about this project is available on a specially created he-wp page.

We extend a special gratitude to Ariel Elinson, a WMIL volunteer who led the project with a lot of effort along with the Hebrew Education Coordinator.

Teacher training courses with the Ministry of Education and Center for Educational Technology


During the first half of 2017, 151 teachers from 7 knowledge fields have concluded the teacher training course “Behind the Transparent Curtains of Wikipedia”. This course offers tools for wise consumption of the material available on Wikipedia and acquaintance with its possible pedagogical applications.

Following a pilot held in 2016, this half also saw the first round of the follow-up course: “From Behind the Curtains to the Front of the Stage”. In this course, teachers are experimenting actual editing on Wikipedia and create editing-based activities for their students. Sixteen teachers have finished successfully the first round. Together, they created 15 new articles on he-wp and made significant expansion of an article on the es-wp.

The feedback coming from these teachers was very positive. Nevertheless, we saw that the assignment of writing a new Wikipedia article, which had been given to all participants (except in one unusual case), was perceived as too challenging and too demanding. As a consequence, we have made a significant change together with our colleagues at the Center for Educational Technology - in the future, participants will not be asked to write a new article, rather they will be asked to perform several separate and narrower assignments of improving and expanding existing Wikipedia articles.

A second round of this teacher training course has been opened recently, in which the abovementioned change is already implemented. We are following this course, hoping that the change will allow more teacher to finish it successfully and acquire tools for active creation of contents on Wikipedia, whether individually or with the students. The data regarding the second round will be available before the end of 2017 and will reported in the “impact report”.

Programs in Arabic (Middle & High schools)

Program Participants Newly registered Content pages No. of school who join the program No. of schools continued to the next academic year
Education: Middle & High schools (ِArabic) 100 50 50 5 3
H1 177 110 64 - new articles

3 - improved articles


Remarks on the table: The figures also include teacher training courses (19 participants, 12 new users, 4 new articles) and the results of the writing competition “The Women You Have Never Met” (5 participants, 7 new articles).

Goals and Objectives

  • Engage 3-5 online volunteers and 1-2 offline volunteers to support the article writing project in the Arabic language.
  • Recruit 6-7 schools to participate in the project. At least five schools join. At least one class in each school participates in writing articles.
  • During the school year some 50 articles are written by 80 students.
  • At least three schools continue participating in this activity the following year.

The first school year in which we had Arabic-language activities came to its end with great success. Eight schools took part in the project, and 53 articles were written on ar-wp. Students wrote articles in a variety of subjects: geography, geology, spots, local public figures and others.

The program included the following teacher training:

  • At the teachers’ schools, the coordinator met the teachers and gave them a four-hour training session
  • A special training course for teachers of the Ort network of schools. WMIL has been active for three years in Hebrew-speaking schools of the Ort network, and this year saw the first teacher training in two Arabic-speaking Ort schools. The course included seven meetings and experimenting article editing. The student will have their first attempt of editing at the beginning of the next school year.

Following the teacher training at the schools, each teacher chose topics for writing from a “basket of topics”, which was vast and included more than 350 topics. According to the coordinator’s recommendation, each teacher chose a field, to which all writing topics were related. The work was not in the students’ regular classrooms, rather, after an introductory talk before the students, those interested joined a group headed by the teacher and the coordinator. The main contents of the program were: introduction to Wikipedia, encyclopedic writing, neutral writing etc. The coordinator was very involved in the schools’ activities. He read most of the drafts and led all editing workshops. Some of the groups initiated Whatsapp groups of the students, the teacher and the WMIL coordinator, where the students asked questions and helped each other. Operating this program was a greater challenge than expected. In Israel, there are very few Arabic-speaking Wikipedians. Of them, none was willing to volunteer in the program. No contacts have been made with Arabic-speaking Wikipedians who could support the program online. We will adjust the modus operandi ahead of the forthcoming school year, striving to start follow-up activities in the schools, in which students will continue editing and train other students.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, and in parallel with the Hebrew-language competition, we decided to hold an Arabic-language competition of “The Women You Have Never Met”. We opened a special page for the competition on Meta with a list of article topics that included mainly women from the Arab world. The list was prepared by WMIL’s Arabic-language Education Coordinator. The competition was advertised on WMIL’s Facebook page, through a site notice on ar-wp that was activated for users in Israel, and in the local media. The competition was not successful despite our hopes. Only five editors wrote seven articles. The low turnout can be explained in the following ways:

  • People are not fully aware that Wikipedia is open for editing also by Israeli Arabic-speakers.
  • Writing in Modern Standard Arabic is a significant challenge for many Arabic speakers in Israel (who speak a local Arabic dialect as their native tongue, but are often more literate in Hebrew than in MSA).

The winner of this competition was an eighth-grade student from Baqa al-Gharbiyah, who took part in a Wikipedia article writing activity at her school.

Higher Education


Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Article Assessment No. of professors continued to the next academic year
Higher Education 1100 650 650 50% = 325 15
H1 730 296 208 new, 72 expanded, 111 Wikignome

Article Assessment - Article Assessment - 50% of the articles are defined as "quality articles" according to the article quality indicator.

Goals and Objectives

  • Run the Wikipedia Assignment Program in at least 15 courses in one higher education institution during the academic year 2016-17.
  • By the end of 2017, 15 lecturers from various higher education institutes endorse the Wikipedia Assignment Program in their courses.
  • At least 15 professors request to continue participating in the program in the next school year 2017-18.
  • Students write or expand about 650 articles during the year as part of our higher education activities.

The WikiCampus project - A first institutional pilot at the Interdisciplinary Center in Hertzliya


In 2016, a first-of-its-kind project started at the Interdisciplinary Center in Hertzliya. As part of a comprehensive institutional conception, IDC started a cooperation with WMIL, with the intention of embedding the Wikipedia Assignment Program as an integral part of various academic courses. The first request for cooperation was made by Prof. Karine Nahon, who is both a WMIL board member and an IDC lecturer. Prof. Nahon addressed senior IDC professors and presented the idea to them. She received the support of the IDC Vice President for Academic Affairs. IDC is the first institute in Israel in which the management adopts the Wikipedia Assignment Program as part of the institute’s curriculum and encourages all lecturers to take part.

Ahead of the first term of the academic year, a call was sent to all members of the academic personnel, in which they were asked to join the WikiCampus project and incorporate a Wikipedia article writing assignment in their courses. Twenty-seven lecturers expressed interest and were contacted by the academia coordinator. Personal talks were held with all interested lecturers, in which full details about the program were given, as well as participation criteria, milestones, expectations and demands from the lecturers and the students. Following these conversations and conformity checks (whether the  specific course conforms with the program’s requirements), 15 lecturers still expressed their interest, of them 9 were about to teach courses in the first term of the academic year. Another call was circulated ahead of the second term, to which seven lecturers responded and expressed their interest, however their courses did not conform with the program’s requirements. This cooperation will therefore resume in the forthcoming academic year. Overall, during the academic year of 2016-17, thirteen courses were part of the WikiCampus project, led by 11 lecturers (one of them was IDC’s vice president for academic affairs).

The WikiCampus model was implemented in another four academic courses in different institutes: Bar Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo.

Students uploaded to Commons images from Open Access journals to use in their Wikipedia assignment

The Project’s modus operandi

The model of work with lecturers during the first term of the academic year was as follows:

  • An interested lecturer addresses WMIL. In an introductory conversation, the lecturer learns about the Wikipedia Assignment Program, while the academia coordinator learns about the course’s subject, the number of students etc.
  • The lecturer prepares a draft list of possible topics for articles that will be written by the students. The lecturer can use her/his assistant for help or a student, or consult with the academia coordinator.
  • The list of topics is sent to the academia coordinator, who checks their conformity with Wikipedia’s criteria with the help of Wikipedians and WMIL volunteers.
  • A final list of topics is formed.
  • The topics are distributed among the students by the lecturer.
  • Students write their article outside Wikipedia, while using WMIL’s instructional materials.
  • The article’s draft is submitted to the lecturers, who writes comments. The lecturers then returns the draft to the students.
  • The article’s draft is re-submitted to the lecturer following corrections. The lecturer confirms its quality.
  • The students register on Wikipedia and upload their articles while consulting WMIL’s instructional materials.
  • The lecturer grades the students’ works based on the version they uploaded.

Several issues have been spotted following the pilot during the first term:

  • Some lecturers did not include the incorporation of the article in Wikipedia as a significant part of the assignment. As a result, the students did not see it as an important issue either.
  • Low involvement of the lecturers resulted in insufficient engagement and commitment by the students.
  • We found out that many students (and lecturers too) do not bother to read instructions and guidelines.
  • The Wikipedia Assignement Program does not fit any course, any lecturer or any student.
  • The preparation of a topic list is time consuming and requires a lot of effort from both the lecturer and the academia coordinator. This is especially evident when the students are given freedom of choice. In such cases, we often lag behind the academic schedule, which requires the lecturer to submit the grade on a certain date.
  • Owing to lack of conformity between the academic schedule and the program’s progress, in some courses, the lecturers had given their final grades before the articles were uploaded onto Wikipedia. As a result, the students had no incentive to upload their work appropriately. They often uploaded the article, but in a way that did not fit the Wikipedia format, especially with regard to footnotes that were left out or did not match the Wikipedia standard.
  • The weight of the Wikipedia assignment’s grade within the course’s final grade was often unproportional to the amount of effort invested by the students.

These aspects of the modus operandi resulted in a low number of uploaded articles, out of many written, in some of the courses. Out of 150 articles that were supposed to be written during the first term, only 43 were actually incorporated in Wikipedia.

Having learned the lessons of the first term’s pilot, we plan the following changes in the model of work:

  • Instead of a phone call, we will hold a personal orientation meeting with the lecturer or her/his assistant in order to increase their involvement in the project.
  • Instead of only giving students written instructions for the assignment, the lecturer or her/his assistant will dedicate at least one session for explaining the assignment and the basic principles of Wikipedia, using WMIL’s instructional materials, in order to increase the students’ involvement.
  • Stricter criteria when checking whether a writing assignment is appropriate for a certain course – writing a new article or significantly expanding an existing article will be given as an assignment only in advanced courses (3rd year or MA courses), or in Honor programs. Courses that do not meet the criteria, may qualify for smaller assignments, e.g. adding a paragraph to an existing Wikipedia article.
  • The list of articles for writing or expansion will be prepared by the lecturer with WMIL before the beginning of the term. Schedules will be set for the various stages of the program (first submission, second submission and confirmation, article uploading etc). We will make sure that the weight of the assignment’s grade is proportional to the amount of effort invested.
  • Students will be asked to register on Wikipedia and submit their emails already at the beginning of the course. In addition, an online form will circulate, where each student will state their name, username, email address and the name of the article they write. This change will allow better monitoring and guidance, as we will have clear information about the participants and how to contact them.
  • Changes specific to the WikiCampus project at IDC Hertzliya:
    • Engaging the information specialists at the institute’s libraries in the project. The team of librarians and information specialists will be trained in editing Wikipedia, especially with regard to adding footnotes. An information specialist will be present at the session about the assignment of each course. They can address the students’ needs directly at the stage of locating resources and at the final stage of uploading the article.
    • Shortly before the end of the term, the institute’s library will offer special article uploading sessions. Students will be able to come to the library during that time and upload their article with the help of the information specialists or WMIL volunteers.

We are in the process of recruiting lecturers from various academic institutes all around the country to participate in the project and include writing assignments in their courses during the academic year of 2017-18.

Activity of volunteers at the academia


The expansion of our activity at the academia in the aforementioned method was accompanied by the continuance of our volunteer-led activity. Three courses for writing Wikipedia articles, led by Shani Evenstein, have been concluded at the Tel Aviv University. At the Haifa University, the Wikipedia Assignment Project, led by Hana Yariv and Deror Linn, continued in several courses at the Department of Humanities and the Department for Health and Welfare Studies. Overall, there were nine courses which included volunteer-led Wikipedia assignment projects. So far, five courses yielded 142 new articles or significant expansions, of which 61 were uploaded this year. Articles from four other courses have not been transferred to the article namespace yet, so they will be reported in the annual report.

Another positive development is the fact that some lecturers, who took part in a volunteer-led Wikipedia writing project, continued this activity this year without the need of the volunteer’s guidance, owing to the experience they have already acquired. These three courses yielded 89 new articles and significant expansions. In one unusual case, a lecturer who wished to implement the Wikipedia writing program in her course, started by learning to edit Wikipedia and became an active Wikipedian herself. She then taught her students to edit.

Articles on current research in neuroscience added to he-wp

One of the most impressive successes of the WikiCampus project came to pass at the M.A. course “Emotions, Social Behavior and the Brain”. This course was led by three lecturers - Dr. Nava Levit-Binnun, the founder and manager of IDC’s Sagol Center for Brain and Mind, Dr. Yulia Golland and Dr. Noa Albelda, both are senior researchers at the Sagol Center. WMIL’s Academia Coordinator saw this course as a highly important opportunity to enrich he-wp with useful interesting information, which is not easy to collect. Information about the relation between behavior and brain research was scarce on he-wp. Writing for the general public in this field requires significant investment of time, and the resources in Hebrew about this subject are insufficient. The three lecturers became very involved in the Wikipedia Assignment Program, largely because it served the major goals of Sagol Center, namely to deepen the scientific knowledge about the human brain and to harness this knowledge for personal and social change. Thanks to the deep involvement of the lecturers, 10 excellent contributions have been added to Wikipedia through this course, some of which are new articles, e.g. “The Brain During Adolescence” and “Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis”, and some are expansions of existing articles describing the neural infrastructure of empathy, compassion and attention. All of the contributions have been successfully integrated in he-wp’s article namespace. This success proves the importance of the lecturer’s attitude in this model of work. Gladly, these lecturers teach another two courses this year.

Training Curriculum Development and Training Team


Goals and Objectives

  • Developing and updating at least six training tools to encourage editing on various Wikimedia projects.
  • Grow the Wikimedia Israel volunteer team and provide them with support by:
  • Training Coordinator continues to provide support and personal guidance to the team of volunteer instructors.
  • Six training session for the team of volunteer instructors are held during the year, of which at least four online and at least one face-to-face. 70% of volunteers attend at least one meeting.
  • Recruit three-four new volunteers to join the instructor team, during gatherings and other project activities.

Instructional tools


Throughout the first half of 2017, we continued the development of our system of instructional tools, setting our goal at establishing and expanding it and increasing its effectiveness.

The most important development that took place in the field of instructional tools is reaching the last stretch in the development of two major tools that required a great deal of work and effort.

Editing courseware’s new version

The goal of this courseware is to allow users to acquire by themselves, from any computer and any time, the basic technical skills required for orientation in the websites of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons and for editing them. The first version of the courseware was launched in 2015 and has proven itself as a very efficient tool. Following the success, we decided to expand the tool and include new contents in it. At the same time we wanted to make some updates and changes (based, among other things, on feedbacks that we have collected from training volunteers and courseware users).

In June 2017, after a challenging process of development, the courseware was relaunched in its second updated version.

We made the following changes:

  • Adding contents - We added a whole new part that teaches how to edit discussion pages in source code. We also incorporated specific simulations to existing parts, in order to enrich the variety of skills they offer.
  • Reorganizing the contents - In the previous version, various contents dealing with functions that can be performed through the visual editor bar were scattered throughout various parts of the courseware. In the current version we concentrated all of these contents in one simulation incorporated in the first introductory part of the courseware (“Getting Acquainted with the Interface”).
  • Updates - Following changes that were introduced to the visual editor, we have updated the simulation that deals with adding footnotes.
  • Optimization of navigation - We created a homepage through which the user can reach any part of the courseware. We added upper navigation bars that allow convenient orientation inside the parts and among the simulations included in them. Thanks to these changes, users can now use the courseware in a linear all-encompassing way, or alternatively, to move inside it and choose only the parts that are relevant to them.
  • Removal of contents - We removed contents that harmed the users’ experience, according to their feedbacks: the frame story that presented an imaginary person who learn to edit Wikipedia and the dubbing.

The new version of the courseware is already in practical use and even in WMIL workshops. We now collect comments and feedbacks about this version.

Encyclopedic Writing Guide

The landing page of our Encyclopedic Writing Guide (designer: Inbal Zissu).

This tool is meant to train people in editing Wikipedia with regard to the encyclopedic content itself, rather than the technical skills.

The tool is built as a mini site. The users land on a homepage, and after learning about the tool and its components, they are invited to choose between two tracks: a track for expanding existing articles and a track for writing new ones. In each of the tracks they are invited to navigate among four steps: finding a writing topic, locating information resources, organizing the structure of the article and writing the content itself.

In both tracks, each of the four steps is presented on a different page, where the related information, tips, examples and practical tools are concentrated. The information is presented in a basic concise form, and the users are invited to open links and pop-ups to obtain more information and practical examples.

We will soon add banners to the WMIL website that will direct the users to this tool. We plan to offer it to various audience and to WMIL training volunteers, who will be able to use it in the projects they are engaged in. We are looking forward to incorporating this tool in our projects and to hearing reports about its implementation and feedbacks about its efficiency.

In the first half of 2017, we also developed and relaunched various tools for educators and middle- and high-school students who participate in the Wikipedia Assignment Program. These tools are:

Tools improved and relaunched:

Newly developed tools:

  • Main steps in the process of work with the students
  • The structure of Wikipedia articles
  • Common issues in the drafts submitted by students

Volunteer team of instructors


WMIL’s volunteer team of instructors now has 54 Wikipedians. There are 24 volunteers who take part in face-to-face activities (e.g. conversations, talks, courses and workshops). They often also offer remote support. Additional 30 volunteers offer only remote support through Wikipedia or the other Wikimedia projects, through email, video conferences or by phone.

We are especially proud of the diversity of this dedicated group of volunteering Wikipedians. This group includes 40% women and an age range from high-school students to retired senior citizens. They live all across Israel and they serve as the “face” of Wikipedia when they work with our target audience. The diversity of this group sends the message that Wikimedia projects are open to all.

In addition to the abovementioned 54 Wikipedians, in the first half of 2017, two expert volunteers joined the volunteer team of instructors. An expert who advised on the development of the new courseware version and an expert in education who took part in leading an editing workshop for students.

Major trends

A bird’s-eye view of the volunteer team of instructors shows two major trends during the first half of 2017: The first one is the expansion of this team, especially the group leading face-to-face activities. This group grew by 30% compared with the parallel period last year. This was the result of recruiting efforts led by the training and Hebrew education coordinator (this includes re-recruiting of volunteers who were active long ago, initiating appeals to suitable Wikipedians on the sidelines of WMIL activities and tightening the contacts with Wikipedians who used to provide only remote support). The group of volunteers who provide remote support also expanded thanks to appeals we, or our volunteers, initiated to suitable Wikipedians. In one case a central member of the he-wp community approached the training coordinator to offer advice about educational projects.

The second trend is the formation of an inner circle within the Wikipedians who offer remote support. These Wikipedians were found out to be especially efficient and kind, and they can also offer much-relevant expertise in various fields, e.g. health, space, physics, history, social science and sports. Fostering the relations with this inner circle and assigning most of the remote support tasks to them allow us to optimize and professionalize the remote support system.

Video conferences with international scent

In the first half of 2017, we continued the tradition of holding meetings for enrichment, learning and exchanging views among volunteers who lead face-to-face activities. In this half, we had three video conferences of this kind. According to the model of work we had chosen, we had two narrower meetings in January and a full-presence meeting in May.

In January, we expanded our circle of learning by hosting members of other chapters from around the world, whose fields of activity resemble ours. Mr. Nebojša Ratković, the education coordinator of WMRS, shared with us his knowledge about his chapter’s programs and patterns of work with youths. Ms. Gabriela Boková, the education coordinator of WMCZ, and Vojtěch Dostál, a WMCZ volunteer, shared with us their insights from their senior citizen project. We are grateful to these members of WMRS and WMCZ for sharing their information with us. We also thank Tighe Flanagan, senior manager of the Wikipedia Education Program, who suggested them as potential partners for this international knowledge exchange and made the first contact.

The full-presence meeting continued the international atmosphere and was dedicated to a tool developed by the WMF, namely the programs and events dashboard. This meeting was led by Shani Evenstein, a WMIL volunteer who had been involved in the development process and is an expert on its usage. Shani presented the background of this tool’s development and offered practical guidance on how to use it. Following this meeting, the WMIL team, as well as some of its volunteers, started to use this tool experimentally.

The meetings were accompanied with written summaries circulated among the relevant volunteers. The meetings stimulated reactions even some time after they had been held. For example, following one of the meetings, a new volunteer was added to the Facebook group of the he-wp community. Following another meeting, a debate started in one of he-wp’s discussion pages.

Five volunteers have never been invited yet to a video conference, as they have only started their activity. Another volunteer opted not to be present in any of the meetings. Of the 18 rest, 14 were present in at least one video conference during this half (~80%). This high turnout adds to the survey we conducted among the volunteers about these meetings, which showed high level of approval.

Free Knowledge Awareness


Goals and Objectives

  • Engage two/three additional photographers for the Photographing Public Figures project.
  • Photograph Israeli public figures and integrate their images into Wikipedia to raise the issue of free content and to enrich Wikipedia content. At least 200 images will be integrated into Wikipedia.
  • Produce an annual conference and an event marking the Wikimedia Israel ten-year anniversary with the participation of at least 75 people. Raise awareness to free content through these events.
  • Position Wikimedia Israel as a significant player in the campaign for the freedom of information in Israel. Participate in all parliamentary and public committees on the subject.

Wikimedia Israel will celebrate its 10th anniversary in September. We are planning an event with the founders of WMIL, volunteers, partners and friends. At the 10th anniversary of Wikimedia Israel we will give certificates of appreciation to those who promoted the movements’ vision and were great supporters of Wikimedia Israel. A committee has been established to choose the candidates.

The Public Figure Photography Project continued during the first half of 2017. In this project, WMIL volunteers locate articles with missing images and work to obtain them. From the beginning of 2017 up until the end of June, 35 new images were uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons. Some of these images were sent by the person involved himself, other images were released by a license sent through the OTRS. In other cases, WMIL volunteers took the images themselves.

During the closedown process of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority (the public and first broadcaster of Israel, which is now replaced by IPBC), in 2016 and 2017, WMIL’s volunteers led an innovative project to document IBA’s activity throughout the years in images. This project yielded 991 images that were uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons. Of them, 108 images were incorporated in articles on various Wikipedias. 97 images were incorporated on he-wp articles.

During 2016 and following examination of missing contents on he-wp, especially missing images, we realized that not all articles about present and past Knesset members include a free-licensed portrait. In fact, 156 articles about past MKs do not include any portraits. In November 2016 we addressed the Government Press Office to see if they could help us obtain these images, however this yielded no results. During the first half of 2017 we continued to work on this issue and sent messages to two active political parties (Labor and Meretz). This attempt was also in vain. We tried a different approach, and with the help of an active WMIL volunteer, we made a direct contact in June with former KM Yigal Bibi, who currently heads the organization of past MKs. We asked him to contact past MKs and request free-licensed images. We are still waiting to see the results, and should this attempt fail too, we will examine other ways.

During the first half of 2017, WMIL’s volunteers continued to hold monthly Wikipedia editing workshops aimed at the general public. The workshops are held on the first Friday of every month in cooperation with the National Library of Israel, and led by WMIL volunteers. There were six workshops during the first half of this year, attended by around 100 people. Since the workshops are open to the public with no registration, we cannot accurately calculate the number of participants or the number of articles written in them.



Goals and Objectives

  • Wikimedia Israel's positioning as a leader in the Israeli education system through participation in conferences and major debates in this field in Israel.
  • Increasing the visibility of the organization’s activities through publicity in various channels during the year.
  • Maintaining contact with Wikimedia communities and volunteers by publishing a monthly newsletter, local and international blog posts, and other relevant publications in village pump.
  • Handling press relationship and press inquiries.

On 7 March 2017, the Yedioth Aharonot and Ynet Conference on Education was held. Yedioth Aharonot is one of the biggest newspapers in Israel, and for several years it has been holding conferences about education. The conference was attended by hundreds of educators and influential figures, including the Minister of Education, the Minister of Finance and others. Itzik Edri took part in a panel entitled “A Blackboard, a Piece of and an iPhone”. Together with educators and media figures they discussed the influence of contents on the Internet on Israeli education today. Edri’s participation is part of WMIL’s efforts to increase the visibility of WMIL in various outlets.

Our partners around the world spread the word

When an organization has a relevant interesting message, the message often spreads itself through partners who become enthusiast ambassadors. Gladly, this is exactly what happened during this half in the field of education. Our partners in the various education projects appointed themselves unofficially as Wikipedia “ambassadors”. They spread the word about our education projects, they refuted common misconceptions and exposed impressive projects and products in various outlets. In addition, they invited WMIL members to talk in various meetings and conferences. Here are ten major examples:

  1. Five lectures about the Wikipedia Assignment Program were given in a conference of language teachers held by the Ort school network. The lecturers were teachers who led the program in the network’s schools and students who took part in them.
  2. Dr. Ruthi Ash and Dr. Dafna Haran, who led the project for article writing about Righteous Among the Nations, presented their activity at the conference “Active Engaging Learning” at the Gordon College of Education.
  3. The abovementioned project of Dr. Ash and Dr. Haran was presented in a conference of high-school teachers at the Leo Baeck Education Center, along with another project led by Mr. Kobi Shwartzbord, in which students write articles about particle physics.
  4. Mr. Amos Rabban, who lead a project for writing articles about Italy, the Jews and WW2 (see above) presented his work in various forums and conferences. He presented the project at a Centropa international conference of educators from 15 countries, at the education prize-awarding ceremony of the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies, in a lecture attended also by the students who took part in an event for students and lecturers from the Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts.
  5. Teacher Amir Gorski, who leads the project for writing articles about Jewish nationalism at the beginning of the 20th century, presented his work in a conference of Sachlav Program’s teachers (a program for innovative history teaching on behalf of the Ministry of Education).
  6. Teacher Sarit Vaknin, who leads a project for writing science-related articles, presented her work at a Ministry of Education conference dealing with incorporating comprehension and expression in various fields of teaching, attended by teachers and school principals from the Central District of Israel.
  7. Teachers Odelia Cohen and Galit Adiv, who lead a project for writing about Jewish towns destructed during the Holocaust, presented their work before members of Yad Vashem. The participating students took part in the presentation, and following it, the project was admitted to a national competition of educational projects about the Holocaust.
  8. Our partners for online teacher training courses at the Center for Educational Technology invited Michal Lester, WMIL’s Executive Director, to talk about the influence of Wikipedia on education in a general virtual conference of curriculum subject managers at the Ministry of Education. They also held a panel about Wikipedia at an online teachers’ conference organized by the Ministry of Education. Three teachers’ guides presented their work, and an interview with Ms. Mina Theofilatou was transmitted (the interview came following a successful meeting held in 2016 between Ms. Theofilatou and teachers at the online teacher training courses).
  9. Ms. Hana Sivan, a teacher and a teachers’ guide on behalf of the Ministry of Education, invited Danny Waks, a WMIL volunteer, to give a talk before geography teachers.
  10. Our partner, Dr. Ruthi Ash, lecturer at Beit Berl College, invited Shai Katz, Training and Hebrew Education Coordinator, to talk before librarians who study at the college about possible connections between Wikipedia, libraries and youths.

Overall, in these conferences and meetings, some 520 people engaged in education and related fields were exposed to Wikipedia and the pedagogical options it carries. Some of them are key figures or hold senior positions. Beyond that, the education projects received vast exposure also in the local communities through meetings with mayors, billboards, local conferences, exhibitions in schools and various reports at the local media.

Number of media publications:

  • 3 mentions and media publications about Wikimedia and the activity of Wikimedia Israel during the first half.

Revenues received during this six-month period


Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
2016 Remainder ILS 10,000 25,000 0 - - 25,000 2,639 6,614
Foundations ILS 365,000 93,490 0 - - 93,490 96,334 24,675
private donations ILS 16,000 18,660 350 - - 19,010 4,223 5,017
sponsorships ILS 25,000 4,299 0 - - 4,299 6,598 1,135
Wikimedia Foundation ILS 860,000 501,667 363,613 - - 865,280 226,980 228373 Including budget for Salon Strategy Dinner
membership fees ILS 1,000 280 725 - - 1,005 264 265
collaborations ILS 50,000 0 0 - - 0 13,197 0
courses ILS 1,400 0 4,300 - - 4,300 370 1,135
In Kind - - - - - - - - - In kind donations will be calculated at the end of the year
Total Revenues ILS 1,328,400 639,097 368,988 - - 1,012,384 350,605 276,215

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Spending during this six-month period


Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Community Support (Wikipedia) - Strengthening and cultivating the relations between the Chapter and the Wikimedia community ILS 194,100 35,040 29,097 - - 64,136 51,229 16,927 33%
Communities support (Wikimedia Initiatives) ILS 30,000 5,886 446 6,332 7,918 1,671 21% 50,000 ILS moved to Collaboration for free content to Staff costs
Developing infrastructure to promote openly licensed materials ILS 10,500 2,272 172 - - 2,444 2,771 645 23% N/A
Collaboration for free content ILS 347,900 86,967 86,625 173,594 91,821 45,817 50% N/A
Training ILS 65,200 16,439 3,891 20,331 17,208 5,366 31% 50,000 ILS moved to Collaboration for free content to Staff costs
Free knowledge awareness ILS 92,000 20,410 11,924 32,334 24,282 8,534 35% 9,000 ILS moved to Collaboration for free content to Staff costs
Global engagement ILS 56,100 4,211 31,175 35,386 14,806 9,339 63% N/A
Promoting activity in Arabic' ILS 137,000 37,944 23,404 61,348 36,158 16,192 45% 8,000 ILS moved to Collaboration for free content to Staff costs
Communication and publicity ILS 20,000 2,812 2,140 4,952 5,279 1,307 25% N/A
Management and Administration ILS 402,700 96,288 87,210 183,500 106,285 48,431 46% N/A
Total Expenses ILS 1,355,500 308,269 276,084 584,357 357,757 154,229 43% N/A

* Provide estimates in US Dollars



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