Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Israel/March-September 2010

Wikimedia Israel report: March-September 2010

Membership and Meetings

At the end of 2009 there were 21 members
Since the beginning of 2010, nine members have joined the chapter.
General Assembly
On 24 June 2010, Wikimedia Israel held its annual general assembly in Tel Aviv. The meeting included elections to the executive board. Mr. Shay Yakir was reelected Chairperson of the Board. Two acting board members, Mr. Idan Dorfman and Mr. Asaf Bartov, were reelected for another term. Two new board members, Mr. Tomer Ashur and Mr. Rotem Simcha, were elected, filling in for former board members who had resigned or had not presented their candidacy for reelection. Mr. Tomer Ashur was appointed treasurer.

At the meeting, the Audit Committee, consisting of Mr. Harel Cain and Prof. Uzi Vishne, presented its findings and recommendations to the assembly. The Audit Committee also approved the financial reports for the year 2009 (calendar year).

Financial report and Budget

Financial Report 2009
At the end of 2008, the total assets of the chapter were: ILS 7,082.80 (equals to USD 1,898 or EUR 1,453)[1]

Of the aforementioned amount, ILS 6,076 (85.8%) came through donations to the chapter.

At the end of 2009 the total assets of the chapter were: ILS 73,479 (USD 19,694 or EUR 15,213)[1]. Of the aforementioned amount, ILS 70,204 (95.5%) came through donations to the chapter.


Wikimania 2011

The chapter volunteers are hard at work preparing Wikimania 2011 which will be held in Haifa. Negotiation took place with all hotels at the conference area obtaining large discounts for attendees. Chapter members are also working to obtain scholarships for the event. The registration site is expected to be up and running by 1st January 2011.

Most of the relevant information has already been entered to the official website of the conference:

The Wikipedia Academy Israel conference

The Wikipedia Academy Israel conference is a professional conference about the assimilation of Wikipedia in the educational system and the academic sector, promoting the free content idea in Israel, using organizational Wiki systems, and other similar subjects. The conference is intended to host hundreds of people from the fields of information handling, teachers, lecturers, students, and of course, the general public. The first conference was held on the 3rd of May, 2009.

The second annual conference took place on 14th June 2010 at the Tel Aviv University. More than 230 people attended the conference. 20 Academia's gave academic lectures. The keynote speakers were Mr. Samuel J Klein, Member of the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation, Director of Outreach of the One Laptop per Child Project in the United States, and Prof. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Director of the Information and Innovation Policy Research Center at the National University of Singapore, Author of "Delete" - On the Virtue of Forgetting Information in the Digital Age.

The conference was organized by Wikimedia Israel in collaboration with the School of Communication at the Netanya Academic College and the University of Haifa, and through the sponsorship of The Netvision Institute, the Tel Aviv University Student Union and the Sagy Center for the Study of the Internet located at the Haifa University.

The next academy will take place as part of Wikimania 2011.

Africa Center Project

As part of the annual delegation sent by the Institute of African Studies in the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Wikimedia Israel, in partnership with Amutat Hamakor, initiated a shipment of Linux-installed computers including a static version of the French Wikipedia to Cameroon and Benin.

Wikimedia Israel collaborated with members of Wikimedia Switzerland and Wikimedia France to produce an up-to-date static version of the French Wikipedia (numbering about 1 million entries, and including images), French being a major language of reading and writing in Cameroon and Benin.

The students also have portable installations of the offline Wikipedia, so that they may install it on any other computers they may run across in Africa and they have received training on using Linux and Kiwix, the offline Wikipedia reader (free) software, so they may train others to use the computers.

Incidentally, the Linux version installed on those computers is called Ubuntu Linux, 'Ubuntu' being an African word (in the Zulu language) roughly translatable as "unity of mankind" or "mutual reliance".

Supporting and promoting the distribution of free knowledge in developing countries is one of the five major goals identified by the Wikimedia Foundation as central to its five-year strategy plan, developed by thousands of members of the Wikimedia Movement.

Supporting legislation that promotes free content availability

Following lobbying by the chapter members, on 26th May the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) members voted 21 in favor and zero against a bill drafted by MK Meir Sheetrit, i.e. unanimously supported the proposed amendment to the copyright Law making state and IDF-owned photographs free for use by the public. This vote in called a "preliminary reading" and is the first of four votes needed. The proposal was then passes to the Science and Technology committee of the Knesset, where it will be formalized, amended, and then passed back to the general assembly for voting into law.

Chapter members have met with the Technology committee and with the Ministry of Justice in order to better the wordings of the Law.

Lectures and Collaborations

Members of the chapter gave lectures about Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects to several companies and groups in order to promote new writers to join Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project.

  • A lecture about Wikipedia as crowd-sourcing was given by Asaf Bartov and Dror Kamir at the Israeli Translators Association conference in Jerusalem, on 9 February.
  • A lecture about reading and editing Wikipedia and about the Free Software and Free Culture movements was given by Amir Aharoni to the in the Tel-Aviv branch of the youth movement Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed on the 30 April.
  • A lecture about Hebrew Wikipedia was given by Amit Avidan and Dror Kamir to members of the "Shiluvim" students and alumni association, on 5 May.
  • A lecture about Wikipedia was given by Amir Aharoni to members of the Academy of the Hebrew Language, on 23 June.
  • A lecture about Hebrew Wikipedia was given by Harel Cain to employees of Amdocs, a large hi-tech company, on 3 August.
  • A lecture about Hebrew Wikipedia was given by David Shay to the communications students of Tel Aviv University, on 28 July.
  • A lecture about the Hebrew Wikipedia, the Israeli Wikimedia community and the outreach to Israeli Academics was given by Amir Aharoni at the New York City Wiki Meetup on 29 August.
  • A lecture about Wikimedia Israel -- successes and challenges -- was given (via video-conference) by Asaf Bartov to the Bangalore (India) Wiki-Meetup on 12 September.
  • A lecture about Hebrew Wikipedia was given by Asaf Bartov to employees of OpTier Ltd., a software company, on 21 September.

A new project with the Israeli Library Association aiming to promote collaboration between librarians and writers in Wikipedia has been agreed upon, and the Association now encourages libraries to collaborate with the chapter in hosting lectures about Wikipedia to be held in libraries for librarians and for the general public.

Elef Milim

The Elef Milim Project brings together Wikipedians for fun educational activity aiming at enriching the free image repository with pictures of sites, buildings and landscape in Israel. It is a series of field-trips to different sites in Israel, organized and guided by those Wikipedians who are experienced in tourist guiding, history and/or geography.

In Hebrew Elef Milim can be translated as "a thousand words" - a reference to the proverb a Picture is worth a thousand words - or as "a thousand miles" - a reference to a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

In total 33 tours took place as part of this project. At the relevant time period of this report, the following tours took place:

Elef Millim project trip to the Muslim Quarter, in the Old City of Jerusalem
  • The 27th field-trip of Elef Millim project took place on 5th March 2010, to the Old City of Akko. The tour guide was one of the city councilwomen and a local resident of the old city, who introduced to us the residents of the old city.
  • The 31st field-trip of Elef Millim project took place on Friday 11th June 2010, to the Kibbutz of Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem. During the tour we visited the Kibbutz, heard about the discoveries in the archeological site were a large palace from the First Temple period has been discovered, and unriddled the odd discoveries there. We also saw various sculptures such as the Olive Columns by the artist Ran Morin, and have met with the artist.

International Wikimedia Chapters Conference

In March 2010 two delegates from Wikimedia Israel, Itzik Edri and Asaf Bartov, participated in the International Wikimedia Chapters Conference, held in Berlin, Germany. The 3-day conference was attended by delegates from more than 20 Wikimedia chapters worldwide, and consisted of knowledge- and experience-sharing, working groups, and focused discussions on particular issues, such as institutional partnerships, fundraising, and outreach.

The Israeli delegates participated in the Communications and Developing World working groups. In the communications working group, Itzik shared his experience both as Wikimedia Israel spokesman and as a professional media expert in his day job. Asaf undertook to summarize and present the results of the Developing World working group's discussions (A Proposed Agenda for Wikimedia in Developing Nations), and has proceeded to recruit volunteers and coordinate the creation of a dedicated Wikimedia mailing list for discussing Growing Wikimedia in Developing Nations.

Other Projects


  1. a b Representative exchange rate on 20 September 2010