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Executive Summary


The first six months of 2020 were unusually challenging in light of the novel-COVID-19 crisis, which started in Israel around mid-March. Coping with the rapidly evolving circumstances required flexibility, creativity and resolve, in order to maintain as much as possible of our activities.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, and following the guidelines of WHO as well as the local health authorities, we immediately adopted a telecommuting policy to guarantee the safety and health of our team. This was followed by an initial assessment of the plausibility of our planned activities in light of the new circumstances (possible / suspended / to-be-adjusted etc.). As the crisis persisted, this procedure became (and still is) a constant process of evaluation and adjustment. Nevertheless, we also identified new opportunities and openings in this crisis (see more below). We proactively increased our communication and engagement with stakeholders, informing them of the new working procedures and offer of advice and assistance.

Realizing that the current unusual circumstances are here to stay for the foreseeable future, we have adopted a twofold strategy: an immediate short-term strategy and an intermediate to long-run one.

The immediate range:

  • Increased engagement with volunteers and the whole community, using the opportunity also to raise awareness to Wikimedia key issues, through an innovative series of webinars and workshops specially designed for the lockdown period, and presented by Wikipedians, volunteers and staff members (more details below).
  • Offering immediate response to our partners at the education system and the academy, who had to adapt promptly to a method of remote teaching. Our response included troubleshooting and advice, as well as specially adapted materials, written and visual (based on existing contents) to be used in their online classes.

Mid and long-term range:

  • We changed our plans and turned our efforts to transition our work processes into online and digital ones. Most notably, we started to develop a new digital version of our flagship Wikipedia editing course for senior citizens and other target audiences. For this end, we hired an expert on remote teaching and techno-pedagogical skills, and trained our staff in remote teaching methods. This process is currently in its final stages and expected to be completed during the second half of the year. It will enable us to apply digital methods in addition to existing in-person methods (when circumstances permit), thereby expanding and diversifying our range of operation, reaching out to more diversified target audiences. (More details below.)


Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Index of choice Index of choice
Wiki-Women (annual target) 8 8 23 Writing content about women in educational Academic and project 3 edit-a-thons

* More indices of choice are listed in the relevant part of this report.

H1 49 12 30 (13 new articles, 4 expansions, 13 gnomings) partially achieved 2 edit-a-thon
Senior Citizens (annual target) 140 75 995 Average grade of 4.5 in the course feedback questionnaire 20 participants continue to edit for three months at least after the course.

* More indices of choice are listed in the relevant part of this report.

H1 145 31 2,725 (882 new articles and expansions, 1843 gnomings) Average grade of 5.44 in the course feedback questionnaire 23 participants will continue to edit for three months at least after the course
Hebrew Education Program (annual target) 1,100 - 460 33 guided teachers 20 new teachers, trained and guided
H1 945 347 298 31 guided teachers 18 new teachers, trained and guided
Arabic Education Program (annual target) 200 - 250 10 new classes -
H1 167 160 89 3 new classes -
Collaboration with GLAM institutions (annual target) N/A - 230 1Lib1Ref * See comment #1 below the table * See comment #1 below the table
H1 94 1Lib1ref - 6,370 (4,704 gnomings, 1,666 new images) -
Higher-education (annual target) 450 - 450 (300 new articles and 150 expansions) - -
H1 265 214 176 (164 new and 12 expansions) - -
Wikidata (annual target) - - 4500 - -
H1 - - 13,099 (4,966 new items, 8,133 edits on existing items) - -
Training (annual target) 55 N/A N/A * See comment #2 below the table * See comment #2 below the table
H1 65 - - - -
Total annual target for all programs 1,898 No figure was set as a goal 6,908 N/A N/A
Total H1 for all programs 1,730 764 22,787 - -


  1. GLAM projects opportunities which were not originally included in the work plan were enabled and achieved during H1.
  2. Training has to do with infrastructures, such as instructional materials and human resources. Therefore, some of the common indices (new users, content pages) are inapplicable in this domain. We set a wide variety of domain-specific indices, which are compatible with its special nature, e.g. development, updating and distribution of instructional tools, and holding of meetings, workshops and talks for learning and enrichment. These indices with the levels of performance appear under “Building Capacities - Training” in this report.

Enhancing Diversity


∵ Wiki-Women

Metric Yearly Goal Progress (H1) Comments
Content pages 23 (8 articles or expansions + 15 gnomings) 130% performance: 30 content pages (13 new articles, 4 expansions, 13 gnomings)
No. of participants 8 Around 610% performance: 49 female participants
New female editors 8 150% performance: 12 new female editors
Index of choice Countering gender gap on Wikipedia by writing content about women in educational projects at schools in both Hebrew and Arabic (2 classes) Not completed yet The goal is expected to be reached during the second half of 2020.
Index of choice Encouraging narrowing gender gap tasks in both academic projects and senior citizens courses Completed
Index of choice 55% of the participants in the senior citizens activities will be women. Nearly completed: 50% women among participants of 2.5 cycles of the editing course for senior citizens that took place
Index of choice Organizing 3 edit-a-thons to celebrate International Women's day/month Nearly completed: 3 edit-a-thon organized, of them, 2 took place (on International Women’s Day and on International Nurses Day) and one canceled at the last moment due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The program’s rationale is to narrow the gender gap on Wikipedia, particularly to balance the demographic composition of the community of editors (which is currently made up mostly of men) and the gender-related content of Wikipedia (which does not include sufficient articles about women and gender minorities). This year, for the first time, the responsibility for leading the program has been vested in the hands of one of the team members rather than female volunteers (see here, under “Wiki-Women group”). At this point, the new structure of the program is still being examined, including new possibilities which are mentioned below.

What’s been done?

  • On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we contributed our own meme to the Israeli Internet campaign #WomensDay2030.
  • As part of the international Art+feminism campaign, we held for the third year consecutively an event for creating contents on He-wp about female artists. A parallel event for Ar-wp had to be canceled owing to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • On the occasion of the International Nurses Day, we held a webinar for creating contents about women of the medical professions. This webinar was one of several projects around the world intended to salute the medical professionals who spearheaded the struggle against COVID-19 and emphasize the role of women in this context. See below for further details.
  • We continued to add a gender aspect to our programs at the academy and the educational system. For example, this was the second year of our ongoing cooperation with the course “Social Working in the Field of Women and Gender”. This cooperation yielded diverse academic-level articles.
  • We offered personal support and guidance to several female graduates of our course for senior citizens and to young Wikipedians who initiated the “Wikipedia High-School” project, which promoted (inter alia) writing about women (more details below). These course graduates have become prolific Wikipedians, who write about women, feminism and gender among other topics. The youths wrote 74 articles about women, women’s works of art, and female personae and figures.
Poster for the Art+Feminism event at Umm al-Fahem Art Gallery

Achievements and Highlights

  • In the framework of the Art+feminism campaign, we continued our collaboration with the Artport Center for contemporary art for the third year consecutively. This collaboration yielded a successful editing event. The center’s team asked us to expand this collaboration in the future. In addition, the chapter renewed its collaboration Umm al-Fahem Art Gallery for a second year in a row, as an an Ar-wp edit-a-thon was planned to take place at the gallery, however the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The usage of a new model for online activity and diverse advertising channels enabled us to expand our target audience beyond the regular mailing list, which includes present and past female participants in our program.

What's Next?

  • Once we complete the guidelines for an online editing course, which we currently develop, we will hold a special course for women. Our initial observation indicates that digital and online processes better meet the preferences and constraints of women as a target audience (see case study below).
  • Once we complete several cycles of the online course, we hope to open further tracks of activity that will enable us to foster a community of female graduates (a similar model to the one we use for senior citizens).
  • We will continue to add a gender aspect to educational projects, especially to our cooperation with the Unit for Science Oriented Youth of Tel Aviv University.

Challenges and Lessons Learnt: Webinar for editing in women-related topics

Following the outbreak of the novel-COVID-19 crisis, we created a two-meeting webinar for creating encyclopedic content about women (see above, our activity on the occasion of the International Nurses Day). This experimental model brought to our attention several issues to be further discussed:

  • The turnout of women was much larger than in most of our in-person meetings during the past few years in the framework of this program. This fact led us to examine the relation between the surrounding conditions of the activity (online, from home, no transportation needed) and the availability of our target audience.
  • The webinar has nonetheless yielded a low level of editing activity. This brings up several questions about the best model of online instruction, such as, whether to create a sequence of several online meetings revolving around a single topic, or whether a one-time meeting is enough; whether special support beyond the timeframe of the meeting is required, and to what extent; and what the best editing task would be for a remote instructing model. We would like to further examine these issues in future experiments, such as the online women-oriented editing course (see above).

∵ Senior Citizens

Metric Yearly goal Progress (H1) Comments
Content pages 995 (415 articles and expansions, 580 gnomings) 270% performance: 2725 content pages (882 new articles and expansions, 1843 gnomings - 1294 on He-wp, 549 on wikidata)
No. of participants 140 100% performance: 145 participations Around 65 unique participants
New editors 75 41% performance: 31 new editors It was difficult to run new cycles of the course in light of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.
Additional index Evaluation of the senior citizens’ course: Average grade to be at least 4.5 in the course feedback questionnaire. 120% performance: Average grade was 5.44 among respondents. In addition, 100% wrote they would recommend the course to their friends. The feedback questionnaire circulated among the participants of one cycle out of 2.5 that took place (one cycle was shortened and did not include feedback and another was cut in the middle owing to the COVID-19 crisis).
Additional index 20 participants will continue to edit for at least three months after the course. 115% performance: 23 participants continued to edit 3 months after the course had ended. (Data refer to courses that ended between November 2019 and March 2020.) Of them:
  • Most continued to edit even more than 3 months after the course had ended.
  • 2 continued to edit despite having participated in a partial course, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 2 edited drafts which were not moved to the article namespace
Additional index To Organize 8 meetings for former course participants 100% performance Following the restrictions imposed in light of the COVID-19 crisis, course graduates were invited to 8 webinars instead of face-to-face meetings.
Additional index 5 participants to be recruited as volunteers 40% performance: 2 female participants were recruited as new volunteers It was difficult to recruit volunteers in light of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.

The program’s rationale: The program is meant to allow its participants to become WP editors, to strengthen and diversify He-wp’s core of editors, and to expand WMIL’s team of volunteer instructors. The program includes two channels: (1) WP editing course, which includes group and personal guidance; (2) advanced track of support, additional information and volunteering offered to course graduates (see here, under “Senior Citizens” for more details).

A 500-articles star award given to one of the course graduate on his Wikipedia talk page. Many of the corse graduates eceive recognition from the Hebrew Wikipedia community for their contributions and courtesy as editors.

Current status, achievements and main challenges

  • After two successful cycles of the editing course that took place in Tel Aviv and Beersheba with new partners, we had to freeze any further face-to-face activity, from March onwards, in light of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. One cycle of the course was suspended while in progress and further cycles did not open.
  • In light of the abovementioned, WMIL took a strategic decision to use this crisis as an opportunity to promote a digital transition and accelerate the development of an improved online version of the editing course. This process is supervised by an external expert on remote learning.
  • In the future, the online course could substitute the in-person course, supplement it, or merge with it in hybrid models. It could also be a more accessible option for a variety of audiences.
  • The development of the online version arose much interest among our potential partners. An option is being examined to introduce it to the “Campus IL” project - the national digital learning venture.
  • During the first half of 2020, the advanced track for course graduates continued and even expanded significantly. Most of its activity switched to an online format.

Achievements and Highlights

  • Thanks to the enhancement of the advanced track for course graduates, and the success of the cycles that we were able to hold in 2020, we already have performance rates of 100%-270% compared with most of the annual goals we set for this program this year.
  • We created new cooperations and laid the foundations for future cooperations with seven organizations, communities, NPOs and libraries.
  • WMIL was chosen to be presented in a conference about senior-citizen volunteers organized by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services.
  • Several prominent course graduates received gratitude messages from members of He-wp’s community of editors (examples can be seen here, here and here). A course graduate was highlighted in the May 2020 edition of “Bikkurim”, a page dedicated to promising new editors.
  • Two graduates were recruited for significant volunteering tasks: one of them created a new cooperation with “Tech7”, which resulted in a joint course in Beersheba, the other one, who is expert in image copyrights, volunteered to organize a webinar about the subject before 90 viewers.

Lesson Learnt

  • As an alternative to the planned in-person meetings, which we had to cancel, course graduates were invited to a series of webinars. Turnout was unexpectedly high: 111 registrations by 41 unique users. About a quarter of all course graduates throughout the years registered for at least one online meeting, most of them for three online meetings or more. This response showed that the online model met the needs of senior citizens and was suitable for future meetings.

What's Next?

  • During the second half of 2020, we plan to promote the online digital editing course in the following ways: completing the development of the course; conducting pilot tests and improving the online course accordingly; advancing the move (in progress) to upload this version of the course to the “Campus IL” national project’s platform in order gain more exposure and reach out to new and diverse target audiences.
  • In addition, we will start cycles of in-person editing courses, subject to the instructions of WMF and the local health authorities, and continue the ongoing activity to support the course graduates.

Case Study: From a lion’s den to a safe haven - a veteran editor guides a course graduate During the first half of this year, we feared the He-wp community was going to lose a new prolific and highly motivated course graduate. His major difficulty was integrating into the editors’ community. We decided to appoint a volunteer, a veteran He-wp editor, to guide him through this unfamiliar territory. This team-up proved successful beyond our expectations. The course graduate said that before having this guide he felt “like a gladiator in a lion’s den”, whereas now he felt “secure and on a stable ground”. This one-on-one guidance enabled the graduate to advance quickly and follow accepted editing norms. Up until now he edited 1500 times in six different projects and five different namespaces (about 80% in the article namespace). He contributes plenty of high-quality content on a daily basis, takes part in discussions and votes and receives much appreciation from other editors. Most importantly, he reports a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Creating Content


∵ Hebrew Education Program

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Projected (end of year) Comments
No. of participants 1100 945 1015
No. of new users in He-wp and He-wk - 347 407
No. of new articles 460 (new articles and expansions) 298 (210 He-wp/ 88 HE-wiktionary) 368
No. of expansions - 45 45
Wiki-gnomings - 55 -
No. of classes (He-wiktionary) 8 13 13 7 classes actually completed the project owing to the COVID-19 crisis.
No. of classes (He-wp) 30 23 26 19 classes actually completed the project owing to the COVID-19 crisis.
Guided teachers 33 31 32
New teachers, trained and guided 20 18 23

The program’s rationale:

  • Initiating editing projects on He-wp and HE-wiktionary in the Hebrew-speaking education system, for the sake of enriching the free content available while also improving the students’ academic writing skills.

The program’s status:

  • Despite many challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, the program achieved most of its goals and reached 72% of its annual goal.

What’s been done?

  • As of the end of June 2020, 26 out of 40 classes completed the project and wrote an overall of 330 articles (252 He-wp articles and 88 HE-wiktionary entries). Three of them received online guidance for uploading the articles. Adjusted instructional materials for remote teaching have been prepared in light of the general lockdown. See below: “Remote Guidance” in “Student Write Wikipedia: Turning a Burden into Opportunity - a Case Study”.

Achievements and Highlights

  • We continued to work with a diverse audience of students: groups of gifted students, students from the center as well as from geographical or social peripheries.
  • For the first time, we had a class from an Arabic-speaking bedouin school, whose students wrote in Hebrew about topics related to their unique culture (see Case Study). Also, for the first time, Hebrew-speaking Jewish students wrote articles about Islam on He-wp.
  • For the first time, dozens of articles about books were written in the framework of this project.

Challenges: Working during the COVID-19 crisis

  • The novel-COVID-19 crisis brought about a complete shutdown of schools and a sudden transition to remote teaching. This reality was very challenging for the teachers and also affected their cooperation with us. We had to motivate the teacher more than usually and offer practical assistance, such as checking the article drafts for them. Despite the crisis, 13 classes completed the project in recent months, in addition to 13 others that completed it before the crisis. Most of the classes that had just made their first steps in this project did not complete it. Overall, 330 new articles were written during the first half of 2020. The extra free time the students had following the shutdown of schools provided an opportunity to start a remote editing course for a selected group of students. This course yielded 20 article expansions (more details below).

Lessons Learnt: Online Editing Workshops

  • Despite our limited experience with providing remote guidance for schools, we quickly learned that with appropriate instructional materials, we can guide students on how to upload articles to Wikipedia even from a distance. We used both real-time online meetings and “offline” tools, such as documents, presentations and films. The disadvantage of this method is the loss of the ceremonial or festive spirit of the event, which often helps in motivating the students. We also learned that an online editing workshop works better when it is divided into two sessions. This allowed to use tools for tracking changes in drafts and enabled us to reach articles that are more consistent with the WP norms.

What's Next?

  • A project of article writing with the Unit for Science Oriented Youth of Tel Aviv University is due to begin in September 2020.
  • Arrangements ahead of the new school year (which starts in September 2020) include:
    • Recruiting new classes, particularly in two school networks (Amal and Amit), with the engagement of people from the Ministry of Education.
    • Promoting new cooperations with the Ministry of Education, most notably, recognition in our projects as alternative evaluation methods for the “Bagrut” diploma (namely, an alternative to certain matriculation exams)
    • Examining an idea to work with the Ministry of Education on improving WP articles about topics included in school curricula
    • Developing a model for cooperation with school librarians, with an aim to hold a pilot test in one school during next year

Editing Course for Members of “Nachat” (the Youth Bible Society)

  • 17 youths (9 boys and 8 girls) who engage in Bible studies as a hobby found themselves quarantined and turned to us to learn how to edit Wikipedia, particularly how to expand articles about Biblical topics.
  • We opened a three-meeting online workshop for them, in which they learned how to edit Wikipedia and participate in discussions on talk pages. Following this workshop, 20 articles  were expanded significantly, new templates and references were added and many more minor edits were made in 45 other articles. This yield is impressive considering the size of this group. Four of the participants in the workshop showed high engagement and devotion and are likely to keep contributing content in the future.

Case Study: “Desert Stars” School

  • For the first time, students whose first language is Arabic were engaged in writing on He-wp, as part of their lessons of Hebrew as a second language. This happened thanks to the “Desert Stars” school in the Negev, whose students come from the Arabic-speaking Bedouin community and that asked to join our program.
  • The students wrote about topics close to them culturally or geographically, and used their advantage of mastering the Arabic language to contribute valuable content to the Hebrew Wikipedia. At first, the students did not fully understand the requirement to write from a neutral point of view, however strong cooperation between their Hebrew teacher and WMIL’s coordinator led the students to expand their perspective and present various opinions in a balanced manner. Examples of topics that required such expansion of perspective are: the government’s treatment of an unrecognized bedouin village, women’s opinions on wearing a hijab (the Muslim headcover).
  • Thanks to this unique project, students of the Bedouin community left their mark on the Hebrew Wikipedia and realized that they can become part of it.

∵ Arabic Education Program

Metric Yearly Goal Half-year Performance Remarks
No. of Classes (Ar-wp) 20 9 classes at 7 schools

6 classes only completed the project, owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Some project will continue through online channels during summer vacation.

No. of Participants 200 167 Incl. students who did not complete the project owing to the COVID-19 crisis
No. of Articles 250 89 (66 new, 23 improved)
New schools and classes 10 3

About the program

The program introduces Wikipedia and free knowledge to Arabic-speaking schools for both students and teachers. The program continues to encourage and train middle school students and high school students to write Wikipedia articles in Arabic, and to improve articles written by others while emphasizing the concept of collaborative content creating, thus, acquiring basic skills in academic writing in Fuṣḥā Arabic and using references.

The program makes every effort to sustain cooperations with schools which already take part in it. Recruiting new schools and expanding the program remains an objective as the program grows in reach, achievements and format varieties. The recruitment so far was done through networks and partnerships and in 2020 the chapter decided to combine it through its media channels and campaigns.

What’s been done?

By June 2020, 7 schools took part in the program. 5 (out of 8) groups completed their task writing and improving XX articles. 2 groups take part in the program as part of their volunteering hours will continue to write articles during the summer vacation. To assist both teachers and students during the forced quarantine, the chapter provided them with multiple tools to facilitate remote learning, including instructions for how “Wiki Warsha” can be efficiently used especially during these times.

The chapter launched a campaign to introduce the program “Wikipedia Ambassadors” through social media channels to attract and new audience of students and schools. The program starts in July and will continue until September. Due to the COVID-19 challenge, the program was replanned to include two phases: one that takes place remotely through biweekly meeting (lectures, editing workshops, capacity building) with the participants, the second phase include tours and edit-a-thons.

Achievements and Highlights

  • The program was exposed to more than 100 students during the year at various schools (both governmental and private schools) in the triangle area, Jerusalem and Nazareth.
  • Students wrote 10 biographies articles about women.
  • Collaboration with NLI and the Arabic Edu program continues.

Challenges: The COVID-19 pandemic and Education Projects

The uncertainties at the beginning of the pandemic spread lead to confusion in the educational system. Teachers expressed tasks overload and tight schedules, while students expressed difficulties at adjusting to the new formula in addition to worries about the efficiency of remote learning. The situation created a lapse in communication especially with the changes in schedule, final exams and the month of fasting Ramadan, which also has affected arranging meetings during May. In addition, some students did not have computers at home, or they complained about unstable internet connections and technical issues. All these reasons created challenges in following up with the teachers as well as completing tasks for some groups. Two groups withdrew and expressed their wish to reactivate the program in the upcoming school year.

Lessons Learnt

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, we had no other option but to explore distant learning options. In order to ensure the students complete their assignments, we supported the teachers by establishing direct communication with the students through Whatsapp groups. The students were able to ask questions, learn about the tasks, and get informed about the workshop schedule.

Distant learning can be merged in the “Students Write Wikipedia” in multiple ways, either by organizing synchronic  especially that the tools kit we offer schools is divided into chapters that enable us to create activity-based workshops. Many students who participated in Zoom sessions where

What's Next?

  • The program will continue to recruit new schools for the new school year 2020-21 that starts in September.
  • Participants of “Wikipedia Ambassadors” will lead school-based projects. In addition to improving their Wikipedia editing skills, the program trains them to design a model through which they raise awareness about free knowledge and about Wikipedia and Wikimedia platforms.
  • Embarking on new collaborative projects with the Ministry of Education in order to merge writing in Wikipedia with the current curriculum.
  • Relaunching “Nibras Wikipedia” competition in collaboration with the National Library of Israel.

∵ Higher Education

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Projected (end of year) Comments
Participants 450 265
Content pages 450 (300 new articles and 150 expansions) 176 (164 new and 12 expansions)
New editors - 214

Our program in higher education institutes is focused on supporting lecturers who incorporate a Wikipedia assignment in their course. In the 2019-2020 academic year there were 14 courses (13 lecturers) in which a Wikipedia assignment was included. Four of the lecturers were new to the program, and we were particularly pleased to have lecturers from new fields. One of these was the course “Sociology for Urban Planners” at the Architecture Faculty at the Technion. Another course was Medical Imaging at the Ben Gurion University. A writing assignment was also introduced at the College of Management, with 3rd year law students who volunteer at the Equality advancement Legal Clinic and wrote Wikipedia articles on topics related to their volunteer work.

A new kind of collaboration took place at the Kibbutzim College of Education. WMIL’s academic coordinator was approached by the head of the history department Dr. Maayan Mazor, and Dr. Michal Wasser, a teacher at the department who came up with a novel idea: a course in which students would conduct original research on pictures which WMIL helped release from public archives to Wikimedia Commons (see Impact report 2018). Many of the pictures contained very little information and the lecturers wanted their students (studying to become history teachers) to research the background and the context in which the pictures were taken. As this is original research it was of course not suitable for a Wikipedia assignment. Instead, a precis of the research paper which the students submit to the lecturers will be uploaded to the description field of the picture on Commons.

In 2017, Dr. Tehila Hertz started the Wikishtetl project, in which articles about Jewish communities that perished in the Holocaust were written as part of an academic course she was teaching (see Education Newsletter March 2017). This year Dr. Hertz organized a writing competition on this topic. The competition opened on Holocaust Memorial Day (April 20th) and will end on Tisha B'Av (July 29th).

Shani Evenstein-Sigalov, who has been teaching Wikipedia courses to students at the Tel Aviv University since 2013, continued to teach the Wiki-Med course (for the 7th year!) as well as the all-campus elective Wikipedia Course, now titled “From Wikipedia to Wikidata”.

∵ Wikidata

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Projected (end of year) Comments
Content pages 4500 13,099 (4,966 new items, 8,133 edits on existing items)

This program focuses on promoting collaborations for content creation and enrichment of Wikidata.

Academia: In April 2019, WMIL was contacted by the University of Haifa’s School of Information regarding their M.A. students’ obligatory practicum. We suggested to offer students the option to do their practicum around a Wikidata project. Three students have chosen to do their practicum at WMIL, under the supervision of WMIL’s Wikidata coordinator, Dr. Keren Shatzman. One student’s practicum focused on items of Israeli heritage sites on Wikidata. A second project concerned data scraped from the Israeli Museum Portal. The third student, whose project was would be on information about Israeli artists based on the Information Center for Israeli Art decided not to proceed with his practicum.

The first student used the information on the Israeli Heritage Sites’ portal on Hebrew Wikipedia to create 261 new items and update over a 1,000 statements on existing items. The second student analyzed the data from the Israeli Museum Portal, and based on the clean data created 4,396 items and updated 6,566 statements on existing items. Both students submitted a report with the summary of their work as well as conclusions and recommendations regarding potential future projects on this topic.

Shani Evenstein-Sigalov, who has been teaching Wikipedia courses to students at the Tel Aviv University since 2013, expanded the curriculum of the all-campus elective course to also include learning and editing Wikidata, and the course is now titled “From Wikipedia to Wikidata”. In the course students created 308 new Wikidata items and edited statements on another 215 existing items.

Our project with the National Library to synchronize their National Authority File with Wikidata, starting with a relatively small pilot of publishers data, was delayed due to the Corona crisis, as the person doing the Arabic reconciliation went on unpaid leave. Currently work has been resumed and they are on the last set of reconciliations between the database and Wikidata.

High schools: In July 2019, the Wikidata coordinator gave a Wikidata training day to high-school teachers of the Cyber Informatics matriculation track (see Impact Report 2018). Collaboration was delayed due to the replacement of the national coordinator of Science and Technology at the Ministry of Education, but in January 2020 we met the new coordinator, who plans a overhaul of the whole curriculum of the matriculation track, and is keen to broaden the partnership with Wikimedia Israel. In the planned renewed curriculum Wikidata will have a prominent place:

  • At the end of 10th grade students are required to do a small research project which accounts for 30% of their final grade. Teachers will have the option to offer a Wikidata research project.
  • The curriculum for 11th graders will feature Wikidata as a pedagogic tool used to teach some of the content.
  • Students in their final year may choose to do their final research project on the Wikidata platform.

In the spring of 2020 we carried out a pilot project with a class of 10th graders studying this matriculation track at the Ort High School in Lod. The Wikidata coordinator met with the three teachers of this track, two of whom participated in the training day in July 2019. An outline for the pilot was made, starting with a more in-depth training of the teachers. Due to the Corona crisis, however, the training did not take place and the teachers’ work plunged into chaos. Despite the fact that teachers had to improvise, they managed to structure their students’ projects: each student had to choose a topic (e.g., basketball players, TV series, Israeli hip hop music) and research related Wikidata items. Students evaluated the information in the items, compared it to the information available in the corresponding Wikipedia article and other sources, and identified gaps which could be filled. In the final stage, the students edited the Wikidata items and added the missing data.

The main conclusion from the pilot is that the teachers need in-depth training to be able to supervise their students. Therefore, the Wikidata coordinator is scheduled to give an 8-part online training, mandatory for all teachers of the track, in November 2020. As part of the training the teachers will be required to make a project similar to the one their students will, in addition to exercises and other activities that will give them more hands-on experience with the platform.

∵ Collaboration with GLAM institutions

Metric Anual Goal Half-year Performance Remarks
No. of Institutions - 30 13 archives, 1 national institution, 16 libraries
No. of Participants 1Lib1Ref - 94
Wiki-gnomings 1Lib1Ref 230 4704
Images uploaded to Commons - 1666 images 1628 IDF Spokesman Archive, 38 various archives

1Lib1Ref 2020

Our activity in #1Lib1Ref campaign started in 2018. The activity is renewed every year as we organize editing workshops in collaboration with the National Library of Israel and other institutions. In 2020, 76 librarians participated in the workshops in 15 towns. In addition to lectures about the campaign, participants joined editing workshops which put emphasis on adding references and citations to articles, adding bibliography lists to articles about authors, adding external resources to articles and more. This year’s success was led by our partner Orly Simon from the National Library of Israel, achieving 4700 #1Lib1Ref edits, the highest number in the campaign. The campaign received public and media attention as well.

Workshop for School Librarians in Holon

During the past year, we have identified school librarians as a group with potential to offer support in Wikipedia projects of the education system, and more specifically, in finding missing topics, with no WP articles about them, and locating resources of information. Upon a request from the municipality of Holon, we organized a meeting for school librarians of this city. Eighteen librarians took part and learned about WMIL’s educational projects, as well as about Wikipedia and its community. They tried for the first time to use the WP interface and to add a source to an article of their choice, thereby joining the international 1LIB1REF project. We hope that this meeting will mark the first step toward future cooperation and enrolling school librarians to projects at the education system of the city.

Collaboration with the Association of Israeli Archivists

Despite the understanding reached and announced (in 2018) following our image mining project between WMIL and the Association of Israeli Archivists, no real collaboration was so far achieved, even though we made a few attempts that did not gain momentum. Earlier this year, we adopted a new approach, according to which we agreed upon a relatively small but meaningful joint venture, the first after a long break, aimed at encouraging archives to release at least one archival item in a digital format to the public domain. WMIL took upon itself to upload the images to WikiCommons and include some of them in relevant content pages. Thirteen archives joined the venture and released historical images. Since not all images complied with the rules of public domain, only images of eight archives were uploaded to WikiCommons (total of 38 images). We initiated the inclusion of these images in relevant WP articles in Hebrew and English, so that the archives realize the benefit and amount of exposure they can receive. This example shows one of the founding documents of the city of Rehovot, which is saved at the city’s archive. A seminar summarizing the project, with the participation of the Association of Israeli Archivists, the National Library of Israel and WMIL, will be held during July, where we will present the outcomes, discuss the collaborative process, and explore future ventures (including the preliminary announcement of the Glam Wiki Dashboard tool - see below).

Collaboration with IDF Spokesman Archive

As mentioned in the previous report, we were able to start a cooperation with the Spokesperson Unit of the Israeli Defense Forces (the Israeli army). This national organization holds many historical and contemporary photographs of the Israeli society and landscape. We started a project page on He-wp where Wikipedians can ask the IDF to provide images for certain articles. The IDF would then offer an image and make it free-licensed via the OTRS system. So far we obtained 1628 photos through this procedure, which were integrated into various Wikipedia articles. We were quite surprised to learn that these photos were also used in many articles of different languages. For example, the portrait of Mordechai Gur is used in 70 Wikipedia pages, only 19 of them are on He-wp.

Examples of some historical photographs obtained from the IDF Spokesperson Unit:

Developing GLAM Wiki Dashboard - a Strategic Digital Outreach to cultural & Content institutions:

WMIL is developing a dashboard that will enable any GLAM or other cultural or content institute, in Israel or elsewhere, that has adopted an open access policy, to easily track the impact, extent of usage, traffic and exposure gained through uploading their digitized collections to the public domain. Simultaneously it will enable the Wikimedians to follow up on efforts made by GLAM institutes to publish materials online. The development of the tool was made possible thanks to a grant that had been in the pipeline for over a year and was recently approved. The tool will provide a centralized and visualized way to follow key performance indicators, and will serve as an impact measurement mechanism, with the aim of encouraging GLAM institutes to disseminate their information and knowledge to global audiences and include more free content in the Wikimedia platforms. We thank Wikimedia Sverige for their professional support, advice and feedback throughout the process.

Building Capacities


∵ Training


Our activity in the field of training focuses on developing and fostering instructional infrastructures which are vital for all of WMIL’s activities.

These infrastructures include our instructional materials, as well as the human resources engaged in training: staff members and our main group of volunteers.

Development of instructional material

Field Yearly goal (most indices are unique) Progress (H1) Comments
Hebrew instructional tools Updating and upgrading the current Hebrew instructional tools. Completed Details below
Arabic instructional tools Arabic: Expanding the use of current Arabic instructional tools. Creating new tools designed for teachers. Completed Details below
Wikidata instructional tools Developing an instructional tool which will assist in promoting contribution to Wikidata. Partly achieved - the tool has been created in English, but the Hebrew version is not complete.
Content Translation tool Examining the option to develop instructional tools in this field. Completed - A two-meeting webinar about the translation tool has been developed and presented. Details available under “Events” and “Wiki-Women”. Figures related to the webinars are included in these aforementioned paragraphs.

During the past six months, we developed and expanded the following instructional materials:

For Wikipedia, in Arabic and Hebrew:

  • For the general public: Three instructional tools were improved and updated, another short film was produced and an online workshop was developed
  • For participants in educational programs: Nine guiding documents for teachers and students were developed, three films were recorded, two guiding documents for students were upgraded and updated. Most of the materials were created in response to the COVID-19 crisis, to offer students remote guidance about editing.
  • For senior citizens: Various presentations and lesson guidelines for the in-person course were upgraded. In addition, five instructional films, five questionnaires for self-examination and three explanatory papers were produced for the new online course.

For Wikidata:

  • The tutorial for the Wikidata Query Service (WDQS) is a Wordpress website created for users who want to learn how to write SPARQL queries to query Wikidata. The main advantage of the WDQS tutorial over existing training materials is that the WDQS interface is embedded in the tutorial, such that queries and their results can be run and viewed without leaving the site. The tutorial content was developed in English and Hebrew by the Wikidata coordinator, but the Hebrew content has not all been uploaded to the site yet.
  • This is the first instructional tool that WMIL has developed for the global community. As such it is hosted on the Toolforge server. However, as this is our first experience with hosting on the Toolforge, we required technical support from our project partners at Wikimedia Deutschland and the launch of the site which was scheduled to Q2, was subsequently delayed to Q3.

A case study: Remote guidance in “Students Write Wikipedia” - A crisis turns into an opportunity

Online guidance sessions that were offered to students who participated in the “Students Write Wikipedia” program during the COVID-19 crisis, in Hebrew and Arabic, allowed us to better understand the potential embedded in remote guidance, whether in times of crisis or normal settings. We learned, among other things, that -

Working with shared files allowed us to conduct a constant profound dialogue among the student, the teacher and WMIL coordinator.

For the purpose of helping students in the process of uploading contents to WP, a model of work was developed, which combines online real-time group learning with independent learning. This model made the work more organized and efficient, even though it remained less effective than an in-person workshop.

Students reported progress in their drafts using Google Forms. This was an effective tool for following the whole process and improving its products.

Video conference platforms provided opportunities to guide the students and let them present their drafts through screen sharing. This allowed the WMIL coordinator to examine closely and in real time the process of writing and identify difficulties. The Arabic education coordinator says that this method allowed her to become more aware of the difficulties students had with their style of writing, which resulted from poor encyclopedic writing skills and the fact that Arabic was a diglossic language.

Development of Human Resources

Metric Yearly goal (most indices are unique) Progress (H1) Comments
Volunteers meetings Holding 5 volunteers meetings ​(virtually, face to face). Performance of 60%: 3 online meetings took place. The three meetings were attended by 25 unique volunteers. Most of them attended more than one meeting.
New volunteers recruited Recruiting 3 new volunteers. Performance of around 120%: 4 new volunteers have been recruited (and 5 additional volunteers returned after temporary ‘disappearance’). More details about two of these new volunteers under “Senior Citizens”.
capacity building workshops Organizing 1-2 capacity building workshops for the team. Completed 100% One internal workshop for the staff and a talk presented by an external professional. Details below.
No. of participants 55 Performance of 118%: 65 32 unique participants
A video conference of WMIL training and education volunteers, featuring 17 volunteers and 4 staff members.

- Volunteer instructors: Three online meetings were held for this group of volunteers for the purpose of updating, learning and networking.

- WMIL staff members: See next paragraph.

Achievements and Highlights

  • Following a decrease in the number of volunteer instructors, which we experienced in past years, we initiated in 2019 certain activities that led to a recovery. This process reached its peak during this half, with 24 regular volunteers (long-term, new and returning) participating in three multi-participant video calls for networking, learning and consulting.

Main challenges

  • The main challenge we faced in the training field during this half, following the COVID-19 crisis, was expanding our knowledge about remote learning. In the first stage, we mapped the field and distinguished between two main types of remote learning: one-time webinars vs. continuous processes of group learning. In the second stage we focused on our staff members acquiring professional experience in these two domains. (1) We held an internal workshop about one-time webinars and developed a written comprehensive guide for this matter; (2) We heard a professional comprehensive talk about continuous remote learning processes, given by the expert who advised us on the transition of our course for senior citizens into an online digital format.

What's Next?

  • We will further develop and foster our instructional infrastructure in accordance with our working plan, while putting a special emphasis on mechanisms that enable remote guidance in light of the current situation.

Introducing Wikidata


Although we try to promote awareness to Wikidata within the general public, our efforts are mainly focused on more specific, relevant groups: people with the appropriate technological background (developers, programmers, analysts) or people who come from the field of information science.

In January, the Wikidata coordinator presented Wikidata at a conference on “Innovations in the Field of Education in Israel”, which led to the renewal and fast-tracking of our collaboration with the Ministry of Education (see Creating Content section). Wikidata was also scheduled to be presented at the Fourth National Hackathon, one of the biggest events of its kind in Israel (co-sponsored by Wikimedia Israel). The event was planned to take place at the beginning of April, but due to the Corona crisis has been postponed to an unknown date.

The growth in the field of data science and the rising demand for data scientists has increased dramatically the number of academic study programs offered at universities and colleges in Israel. Just last year The Council for Higher Education approved 19 new programs (10 for bachelor degrees and 9 for a master’s degree). In June, WMIL’s ED and the Wikidata coordinator sent out requests to meet with the department heads and lectures of the new programs to discuss the possibility of introducing Wikidata as part of the syllabus. Of the 13 requests that were sent out, 11 replied that they were interested to hear more about this project. So far we have met with the head of the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering at the Ben Gurion University and two lecturers at that department. They were quite enthusiastic about the idea of introducing Wikidata in certain courses, or as a platform to use for projects, a practicum, for a pharmacological research project they are working on, or as a topic for a master’s thesis. We are continuing the discussions to see what of these options could already be implemented in the coming academic year. We also had a meeting with the head of the Digital Humanities program at the University of Haifa and a senior lecturer of the program who suggested Wikidata could be part of the curriculum of the program. We are considering if this would be in the form of guest lectures or perhaps a jointly-built specialized course.

More meetings with other departments are scheduled for the month of July.

∵ Marketing and Events


Hebrew Wikipedia editors' birthday meetup

Wikipedia's 19th Birthday celebration- January 2020

Early in 2020, WMIL organized a meetup in which 70 Wikipedians celebrated Wikipedia’s founding anniversary. The participants listened to talks about Wikipedia affairs and enjoyed light refreshments and mingling.

Engaging our community during COVID-19 pandemic


Our entire event program changed once a general lockdown was declared. We had to cancel immediately all in-person events, three of which were due within several days, and explore new alternatives adapted to the pandemic circumstance. To make the most of the situation, we decided to take this opportunity to enhance even more our interaction with the community while also reaching out to new audiences. Here are some examples:

  • The “Lockdown Guide”: As more people were required to stay quarantined at home, even before a general lockdown was declared, and were looking for meaningful activity, we put together the Quarantine Guide in Hebrew and Arabic. These two web pages include links to WMIL instructional editing tools for new editors. During the first month of the lockdown 800 people read the guide, and some started to edit on He-wp.
  • Wikipedia High-School: A 17-year-old member of our community GUNR7229 took the initiative and established the “Wikipedia High-School project” for teenagers in lockdown. Each week during that period, they wrote articles on He-wp about topics of their interest, such as sport, history, feminism, the Holocaust and more. Embracing this original initiative, we offered them a small token to increase their motivation. Altogether, 12 participants wrote 310 articles. The project was a great way to continue our interaction with our group of young wikipedians despite the special circumstances and in addition to the usual face-to-face meetups we used to have before the crisis.
Wiki Talk Webinar- Notability in Wikipedia
  • Wiki-Talk: Online Wikipedia talks- In an attempt to keep in touch with our community, we came up with Wiki-Talk, an online series of webinars about Wikipedia, presented by members of our community and WMIL staff. For more than 8 weeks we held a webinar once or twice a week via “Zoom”. We were excited to see the number of participants - about 65 on average. The program was extended beyond the lockdown period and is still ongoing. Topics included: the History of encyclopedias, introduction to Wikipedia, credibility of Wikipedia, adding photos to articles about famous people, public-domain photos in Israel and notability in Wikipedia articles. This crisis offered us first-hand experience in holding an online editing workshop. We held two online meetings that focused on using the translation tool.
  • A quarterly Newsletter- For the past year and a half, we have been distributing every three months a newsletter through our mailing list (which includes more than 4500 people, among them volunteers, partners, participants and followers) with updates on the latest news of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia world. In the first half of 2020 we sent two quarterly newsletters, one to celebrate the New Year with updates about our new CEO, Wikipedia’s most viewed articles in 2019, a new GLAM collaboration and the WLM contests. The second one was before Passover, during the lockdown period. We updated about the new activities mentioned above, and other issues related to the COVID-19 restrictions. This was by far our most viewed newsletter.
  • Editing course for Beit Hillel Rabbis- A contact with the organization of Beit Hillel Rabbis which was made at the beginning of the year, following their interest in learning how to edit Wikipedia, came to fruition after the outbreak of the novel-COVID-19 crisis. The in-person editing session that was originally planned was transformed into a two-meeting online workshop, which was attended by five members of the organization. The workshop focused on improving articles related to the organization’s activity and Judaism in general. The participants learned about Wikipedia’s interface and its community. They were asked to write their own userpages, practice wiki-gnoming, add a reference and open a discussion on a talk page. They expanded four articles and acquired the basic tools for continuing their activity on Wikipedia. This is a highly educated group of people, and we wish to continue working with them and even expand our joint activities.

Fundraising and strengthening organizational infrastructure


The pandemic and its impact on the economy, including philanthropy, has made resource development perspective more challenging this year.

  • Many of the foundations put their operation on hold, postponed submission dates, shifted priorities or even shut down their operation altogether. Considering these circumstances, the strategy adopted was to increase efforts, enhance personal approach and diversify potential resources (for example, submitting our senior-citizen program as a project in response to a call-for-proposals that seek to promote digital activity for senior citizens).
  • At the moment of writing this report, it is too early to predict what the outcomes of these efforts will be. Most replies are expected later this year, toward the 4th quarter of the year or even after.
  • Round-up Donations, that are based on the “long tail concept” (where the sum of every transaction made with a credit card is rounded up to the nearest ILS) met our pre-crisis anticipations and even went slightly beyond them. Currently, we have 2180 donors using this platform.
  • A personalized Happy Passover greetings and update letter was sent to each and every donor (private donors and round-up donors), accompanied by a designed postcard carrying selected symbols of the holiday (springtime and freedom) as expressed in different Wikimedia projects: Passover articles from Wikipedia, images of the Israeli spring.

Achievements and Highlights:

A grant application that has been in the pipeline for over a year, at one of the local foundations that already supported us in the past, was eventually approved during April. This grant allows us to put into practice an important GLAM initiative, that is currently in its first steps. Since the feasibility of the grant was unclear for a significant period of time, it was not taken into consideration in the original work plan, nor in the projected income for this year.

What's Next?

  • Continuing Fundraising effort focusing more on diversifying potential resources and seeking new strategic alliances and income-generating projects as a way to strengthen the sustainability of the organization.
  • The annual round-up campaign will take place during the summer aimed at increasing the number of participants using this platform.
  • Enhance contact with small donors, sharing with them the impact of their contribution to our overall activity and encouraging their continuous engagement.

Revenues received during this six-month period


Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

  • Important note
    • the anticipated column may list revenues anticipated for the whole year instead of only the 6 months. Please make sure that this the time period clear in the table.
    • In the explanation column, always mention relevant information about the numbers: what period they refer to etc.

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
Balance 2019 ILS 150,000 382,214 382,214 43,059 109,718
Revenues from private donations ILS 15,000 2,990 6,244 9,234 4,305 2,650
Sponsorships ILS 0 0 0 0 0 0
Foundations ILS 446,000 96,203 1,261 97,464 128,002 27,972
Revenues from membership fees ILS 1,000 20 480 500 287 144
Wikimedia Foundation ILS 1,075,000 627,083 0 627,083 308,525 179,973
Revenues from collaborations ILS 30,000 5,000 1,000 6,000 8,610 1,722
Revenues from courses ILS 5,000 1,600 2,217 3,817 1,435 1,095
Round Up ILS 96,000 30,601 31,827 62,428 27,558 17,917
Revenues from companies ILS 10,000 0 0 0 2,870 0
In-kind donations ILS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total revenues (should equal the sum of the rows): ILS 1,828,000 1,145,711 43,029 1,188,740 524,746 341,240

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Spending during this six-month period


Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

  • Important note
    • Budget can be the budget for the whole year (and thus the percentage will reflect the half year and should be around 50%, or the half year, in which case the % should be around 100%. Please make that clear in the table.
    • In the explanation column, always mention relevant information about the numbers: what period they refer to.

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
Enhancing diversity ILS 283,470 83,818 43,372 127,190 81,373 36,511 50.58
Wikidata and Enhancing Content ILS 117,993 25,747 31,756 57,503 33,871 16,507 51.12
Education - Hebrew ILS 190,985 48,784 43,832 92,616 54,824 26,586 51.75
Higher Education ILS 90,493 24,982 16,969 41,951 25,977 12,042 47.51
Education - Arabic ILS 226,985 47,818 39,359 87,177 65,158 25,025 42.22
Training ILS 146,985 30,000 23,321 53,321 42,194 15,306 37.82
Free knowledge awareness ILS 26,000 206 0 206 7,464 59 0.13
Global engagement ILS 49,000 2,714 3,422 6,136 14,066 1,761 61.36
Communication and publicity ILS 210,000 48,335 39,891 88,226 60,283 25,326 46.19
Management and Administration ILS 481,890 133,322 98,735 232,057 138,331 66,614 47.88
TOTAL ILS 1,823,801 445,726 340,657 786,383 523,540 225,739 43.11

* Provide estimates in US Dollars



Is your organization compliant with the terms outlined in the grant agreement?


As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.

Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No". YES

Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No". YES


Once complete, please sign below with the usual four tildes.



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