[Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Israel chapter report March-September 2010
itzik at infra.co.il
Thu Oct 14 22:55:27 UTC 2010
To the full report:
Membership and Meetings*Membership *
At the end of 2009 there were 21 members
Since the beginning of 2010, nine members have joined the chapter.
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
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
Of the aforementioned amount, ILS 6,076 (85.8%) came through donations to
At the end of 2009 the total assets of the chapter were: ILS 73,479 (USD
19,694 or EUR 15,213)<http://www.wikimedia.org.il/Reports_-_March-September_2010#cite_note-forex-0>.
Of the aforementioned amount, ILS 70,204 (95.5%) came through donations to
Projects 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: http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org
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.
The Wikipedia Academy Israel conferenceThe 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,
The second annual conference
<http://www.wikimedia.org.il/Wiki_Academy_2010>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
of Haifa <http://www.haifa.ac.il/>, and through the sponsorship of The
Netvision Institute <http://www.niis.tau.ac.il/>, the Tel Aviv University
Student Union <http://www.student.co.il/?CategoryID=643> 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
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.
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
- A lecture about Hebrew Wikipedia was given by Amit Avidan and Dror
Kamir to members of the "Shiluvim" students and alumni association, on 5
- 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.
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
In total 33 tours took place as part of this project. At the relevant time
period of this report, the following tours took place:
- The 27th field-trip of Elef Millim
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 28th field-trip of Elef Millim
place on 9th April 2010, to the mountain desert fortress of Herodion
built by king Herod the Great near Bethlehem south of Jerusalem.
- The 29th field-trip of Elef Millim
place on Firday, 7th May 2010, to the northern city of Nahariya.
- The 30th field-trip of Elef Millim
place on Tuesday 18th May 2010, to the Muslim Quarter in the Old City
- The 31st field-trip of Elef Millim
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.
- The 32nd field-trip of Elef Millim
place on Friday 6th August 2010, to the Kibbutz of Yagur near Haifa.
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
and has proceeded to recruit volunteers and coordinate the creation of a
dedicated Wikimedia mailing list for discussing Growing Wikimedia in
- The Piki Wiki
- The Hebrew Wikipedia mobile poster
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