Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Israel/October - December 2011

Here is our activity report for the period of October-December 2011 (apparently monthly reports are difficult to keep up, so we’re switching to less frequent quarterly reporting).

General AssemblyEdit

On December 18th, Wikimedia Israel held a General Assembly in Tel Aviv, to present our Board’s plans and budget allocation for 2012 and to approve the final general and financial reports for 2010.

Most of the GA was devoted to hearing reports from our volunteers in the field about the various projects now underway - we are experiencing a true renaissance of outreach activity since hosting Wikimania in August. In this report we’ll mention some of the activities presented in the GA.

The GA was attended by 16 people, 14 of which are formal members of our chapter.


GLAM: IMJ projectEdit

As reported before, part of the GLAM:IMJ project included a Wikipedian-in-Residence program. The first WIR, Yair Talmor, began his work at the Museum on Sep. 18th, and his residency ended on Nov. 30th.

Throughout his two months at the IMJ, Talmor worked in order to promote the goals set at the beginning of the project. This was no easy task - although an effort was made to have realistic and reachable milestones, the project was very ambitious and much energy was invested in it, just as part of it being the first GLAM project in Israel.

As part of his residency, Talmor led editing sessions with Museum staff, promoted the relations between museum staff, volunteers of the Information Center and the Hebrew Wikipedia community, worked with the museum in order to release media files to Wiki Commons and cultivated a personal relationship with artists [and their families], who eventually donated info and media to the project.

==== The 8th Digital Heritage Conference at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem ====

On November 16th, we had the privilege of attending the 8th annual conference on the digitization of cultural heritage. The conference is probably the most professional & important one in Israel on the subject, so we were fortunate to have a two-hour session to present our projects. The session, which was called "Wikipedia and GLAM Projects - How galleries, libraries, archives and museums work with Wikipedia & Wikimedia to share knowledge", was chaired by Dr. Allison Kupietzky, Collections Database Manager and Head of the Information Center for Israeli Art at the IMJ, and had 5 parts:

  • "How to change the world while still in your slippers - Wikipedia,

Wikimedia and the free content movement" - A presentation by Tomer Ashur, Chairman of Wikimedia Israel.

  • "Wikimedia's Outreach Projects - from Africa to GLAM" - A

presentation by Shani Evenstine, GLAM Projects Coordinator, Wikimedia Israel.

  • "Israeli Art on Wikipedia as part of the GLAM IMJ Project" - A

presentation by Dr. Allison Kupietzky, Head of the Information Center for Israeli Art, IMJ & Yair Talmor, Wikipedian-in-Residence, IMJ Project.

  • "Working Together - The National Library and Wikipedia" - A

presentation by Ido Ivri, Manager of Digital Programs, the National Library of Israel. The lecture described the National Library of Israel's initiative for providing access to a historic collection of 3,000 photographs, by making it accessible on Wikipedia, the benefits of the process to the general public, what the National Library gains and possible implications on the digitization and licensing processes.

  • A Q&A panel with the audience.

GLAM: NLI ProjectEdit

It is with great pleasure that we announce the beginning of the second big GLAM project in Israel - a collaboration with the National Library of Israel. This project also hosts a Wikipedian-in-Residence, Daniel Tzvi Framowitz, who will work at the NLI once-twice a week, in the coming six months. The project was initiated by Ido Ivri, Manager of Digital Programs at the NLI, and a new wikipedian.

Copyright LegislationEdit

We are continuing our ongoing effort to introduce a change in Israeli copyright law that will allow free use of all pictures and media created by state employees. With a 18 months delay, the Economy Committee of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) started to discuss this change in the law, and in its next meeting will vote on whether to accept the change as drafted by Wikimedia Israel and the Israeli Internet Association (ISOC). More information and our policy paper published before the meeting: (in Hebrew)

Israeli Ministry of EducationEdit

Following meetings between the chapter’s representatives and the Science and Technology Administration at the Ministry of Education, we held a trial series of virtual meetings teaching fifth and sixth grade pupils about crowdsourcing, wisdom of the masses, history of Wikipedia and how to use Wikipedia in a smart and responsible way. The material was written by Deror Avi and Amir Aharoni and taught by the charming Tamar Hayardeni to 380 classes in three rounds, with 13,300 (!) pupils watching it altogether.

A lecture to Arab teachers in Baqa al-GharbiyyeEdit

On December 4 Amir Aharoni gave a lecture about Wikipedia in the Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye to twenty five Arab teachers of history and geography. The lecture presented Wikipedia and the principles behind, showed the teachers how to read and search Wikipedia effectively, how to use in their particular classes and how to improve articles for the benefit of their students and all Wikipedia readers. This was the first WMIL activity with the Israeli Arab community.

Haifa University Faculty of the HumanitiesEdit

As part of a big cooperation initiative with the Faculty of the Humanities in the Haifa University, Hana Yariv is instructing factuly staff and students on Wikipedia and its inner workings. In a few courses provided by the faculty, students are required to write Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework.

Haifa University Faculty of Public HealthEdit

Deror Avi is leading a cooperation project with the Faculty of Public Health at Haifa Univeristy, in which graduate students will write Wikipedia articles as a mandatory assignment in their coursework. The articles will be graded and verified by the course teachers. A meeting with the faculty staff was held in December, and a training session given to the students.

Ben Gurion UniversityEdit

Danny W. is leading a few parallel cooperation efforts with Ben Gurion University in Beersheba: mainly with professors who are friendly to our cause and willing to introduce article improvement assignments as part of their coursework, and with the Dean of Students in order to form a formal student club of Wikimedians which will have its own humble budget from the university.

Public outreach talk in Ra'anana Municipal LibraryEdit

On November 22nd, Tomer Ashur gave a presentation in the the municipal library of Raanana. The presentation included about 30 people which engaged in the discussions and were very interested of the topic. After the presentation we started receiving requests from other libraries which heard about this presentation.

Cooperation with Librarians in the Western GalileeEdit

Liron Dorfman has been giving a group of librarians and students of information studies in the Western Galilee College ( a series of lectures on Wikipedia and its inner workings.

Wikipedia Training to Teachers of Civic Studies, Center for Educational TechnologyEdit

On January 2nd, Harel Cain delivered a training session about Wikipedia and using it in the classroom, with an emphasis on civic studies (solving disputes in Wikipedia, questions of privacy and libel, of censorship etc) to a group of 20+ teachers of civic studies in Israeli high schools, at the Israeli Center of Education Technology (CET). Followup acitivties and meetings at the CET are planned for the coming weeks.

(video of talk, in Hebrew)

Annual Meetup of Wikipedians in January 2012Edit

On January 13th, 2012, Wikimedia Israel held an annual meetup of Wikipedians at Tel Aviv University, which was attended by dozens of Wikipedians. The program contained both informal mingling and a series of updates and talks on various projects and trends in the Wikimedian universe, with a focus on Wikimedia Israel’s activities.

(program, in Hebrew)

Wiki Photo Hunts - Elef Millim ProjectEdit

We continue our long tradition of monthly self-guided tours for and by Wikimedians, which also serve as photo hunts generating hundreds of photos for Commons. In October we made to Jaffa, in November to Kafr Qara and in December to Neve Tsedek (one of the old neighborhoods of Tel Aviv).