Wikimedia Israel is the local Israeli chapter of the worldwide Wikimedia movement. It works in close cooperation with the global Wikimedia Foundation and with other local Wikimedia chapters around the world. Our main goal is to promote and secure access to knowledge and cultural assets by encouraging people from all parts of the Israeli society to share their knowledge and create free content, namely content that is easy to access, share and reuse from technological and legal points of view.
Wikimedia Israel works with Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking schools in Israel, as well as Israeli universities and academic institutes. We also work with groups of retired senior citizens and various interest groups, with the ultimate goal to offer people an opportunity to share the knowledge they have acquired and enrich free-content projects, such as the Hebrew– and Arabic-language Wikipedias, Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons and others.
Wikimedia Israel is incorporated in Israel as an amuta (the equivalent of a non-profit or a charity) since 26 June 2007. Its registration number is 580476430. Our bylaws generally follow the recommendations suggested by the local relevant authorities and the basic rules adopted by other Wikimedia chapters. This is the original version of our bylaws in Hebrew, and here is an English translation of our bylaws. Our official address is the address of our office in Tel Aviv, given below.
The Israeli community of Wikimedians had been holding regular community meetups long before the creation of Wikimedia Israel. Even so, the ever-growing number of participants required better organization, which Wikimedia Israel has been able to provide ever since its creation.
Every few months, the local Wikimedian community is invited to meet face-to-face in order to strengthen ties among Wikimedians and exchange ideas, to welcome key figures in the global Wikimedian community or to celebrate Wikimedian occasions (such as Wikipedia’s anniversary).
Editors of Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia, Wiktionary etc.) regularly meet at Wikimedia Israel’s office to learn about new editing tools or hear talks about specific fields of interest.
We are especially proud of the intense cooperation we have been able to initiate and maintain with the Israeli education system. Our “Students Write Wikipedia” projects are conducted in Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking middle- and high-schools throughout the country. We developed several models of operation for schools and teachers with different curricula and different requirements, and published instructional material for students and teachers, in Hebrew, Arabic and English, about how to write a Wikipedia article and how to evaluate sources (see below).
In the higher education system, we cooperate with 15 universities and academic institutes across the country. This cooperation includes accredited courses about Wikipedia, in which the students learn about Wikipedia and experience editing, and academic courses about various topics and in various disciplines, in which students are required to write a Wikipedia article as part of the course’s assignments.
Wikimedia Israel developed a courseware and guides in Hebrew, Arabic and English for teachers and students who participate in one of our educational projects. They can be helpful also to members of the general public who wish to contribute to Wikipedia.
- Courseware for new editors – This web-based courseware is currently available in Hebrew. It teaches Wikipedia editing to new comers, and requires prior registration on the Hebrew Wikipedia.
- Instructional film about Wikipedia – Wikimedia Israel and the Center for Educational Technology (CET) produced a film in Hebrew that introduces the Hebrew Wikipedia to the general public and explains how to navigate in it.
- A guide for school teachers – This guide in Hebrew offers information and advice for teachers on how to use Wikipedia in the classroom.
- A guide for writing articles about award winning scientists – A guide for teachers and pupils, which was originally written for participants of the science-oriented youths project. This is a step-by-step guide for writing biographies of scientists on Wikipedia.
- Guides for Arabic-speaking teachers and students – This page (in Arabic and Hebrew) includes links to guides in Arabic about Wikipedia and how to write Wikipedia articles.
- Comics about reliable sources – Wikimedia Israel initiated the creation of this series of comic strips aimed at schoolchildren and explaining basic rules of distinguishing between reliable information sources and non-reliable ones. The comic strips and explanations are available in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The raw materials (for translation into further languages or redesigning) is available on this category on the Commons.
Reachout and Gap Bridging
One of the major missions of Wikimedia chapters around the world is engaging audiences that have not been adequately represented in Wikimedia projects in recent time.
Wikimedia Israel holds regular Wiki-Women meetups, in which women from all over the country meet, learn how to edit Wikipedia and write articles about notable women or topics related to women.
We also organize special workshops for retired senior citizens, in which they learn how to edit and write articles about their expertise.
Supporting Wikimedia Projects
As part of our mission to support the creation of free content and Wikimedia projects, Wikimedia Israel organized special editing and lexicography workshops for people who wished to contribute to the Hebrew version of Wiktionary. For this end, we contacted the Academy of the Hebrew Language and had their full cooperation.
Wikimedia Israel joined the Wiki Love Monuments initiative, in addition to its long-standing Elef Millim project, in which guided tours across the country are offered to local Wikimedians who wish to contribute free-licensed images of sites to Wikimedia Commons (Wikimedia’s repository of media files).
For the Wiki Love Monuments project we prepared a list of heritage sites and monument together with the local Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites.
The highlight of our activities with galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) is our strong cooperation with the National Library of Israel, which includes several digitizing projects of non-copyrighted collections held at the library in Jerusalem. Wikimedians are gathered at the library on specific occasions and, with the assistance of the librarians, scan images, book covers and pages, maps, posters and other publications. They then upload them to Wikimedia Commons and embed them in Wikipedia articles.
We also hold special workshops for librarians in Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking academic institutes about Wikipedia, the way it uses sources, and how to instruct students about its usage.
Events and Conferences
Wikimedia Israel hosted two international Wikimedia events – Wikimania 2011 in Haifa and Wikimedia Hackathon 2016 in Jerusalem. We are expected to host the international GLAM-Wiki conference in the fall of 2018.
On the local level, we held several conferences for educators and academics modeled after the Wikipedia Academy initiative.
You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikimedia Israel’s office is in Tel Aviv, 7 Carlebach St., facing the former Wholesale Market and Maariv Junction. Note that due to major building projects in the area, a few roads have been temporarily blocked.
Our mailing address is:
7 Carlebach St.
PO Box 51875
Tel Aviv-Yafo 6713211
Telephone numbers at the office: +972-77-3200796, +972-77-7515923
Find us on social networking sites!
You can find us on the popular social networking sites. Most of our posts are in Hebrew, but we will respond to messages and comments in English and Arabic too. Check our facebook page and our Twitter account.