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Hello, @Jacob & @Daniel! I have very much enjoyed reading & reviewing your proposal. I do have a couple of questions I hope you can answer:

  • You mention several potential risks to the project. Given the age & availability of some of the native speakers you hope to record, do you have a plan in place in case you can't schedule the required speakers during the first month of your project (... & since the follow-up transcribing & translation must wait for the recordings, could this be a problem?)
  • In your proposal, you mention a strategic plan but no link is provided.
  • Your budget suggests that Jacob & Dr. Borgian will be paid $25/hour. This payment seems very low. Can you explain how this fee was decided?

I look forward to hearing from you. Redwidgeon (talk) 03:45, 25 October 2022 (UTC) (member of the WM Regional Committee for US/Canada)Reply

Hello @Redwidgeon! Thank you very much for taking the time to read our proposal and reach out with these insightful questions! Below, I outline our responses.
  • This is a very good question, and I appreciate you bringing this up! In the event we cannot schedule the required speakers we intend to during the first month, we already have back-up speakers for whom we can contact. I detail in the subsequent points the back-up speakers from both language communities discussed in this proposal: Judeo-Iranian and Jewish Neo-Aramaic.
    • For Judeo-Iranian: As a staff member of the Jewish Language Consortium, I began performing outreach with Jewish Iranian nonprofits and synagogues prior to the drafting of this proposal. These Jewish organizations have extensive connections with speakers of Judeo-Iranian languages, especially since they are in New York City where there is a higher concentration of Jewish individuals from Iran. Since the drafting of this proposal, we have been able to establish connections with speakers of 6 different Judeo-Iranian languages, including those who speak the languages we plan to work with for this project. Returning back to the risk of not being able to schedule the speakers we have initially planned, we would contact the speakers we have already established connections with via these Jewish Iranian organizations.
    • For Jewish Neo-Aramaic: Like the Jewish Iranian organizations we have contacted, we have built relationships with the Lishana Institute, which is headed by a member of our administration/outreach team, Ariel. The Lishana Institute has connections with a sizable number of Jewish Neo-Aramaic speakers, specifically through maintaining WhatsApp groups of these speakers. We would then request to contact speakers from these WhatsApp groups if the need arises.
  • Thank you for bringing this to my attention! Below is the link to the strategic plan:
  • We have decided on this rate as a result of Dr. Borjian already receiving compensation for his Judeo-Iranian research from the Endangered Language Alliance, a member organization of the Jewish Language Consortium. I set my own rate due to my own circumstances, having graduated university lately. We agree both rates could be higher, and below is a revised budget. We would appreciate your feedback before amending that portion of the application!
Thanks again for bringing these questions/issues to our attention. I hope these responses were able to address them, and if there is anything else I can expand upon or clarify, feel free to let me know!
Take care,
Jacob and Daniel JKodner18 (talk) 16:58, 28 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

Response to updates[edit]

Thanks for your response to my questions, @Jacob & @Daniel!

  • your management of the first risk I mentioned (inability to line up required speakers) sounds very thorough
  • thanks for the link to the Wikitongues Strategic Plan
  • the updated hourly rates for Jacob ($25-$45) & for Dr. Borjian ($25-$50) sound reasonable
Redwidgeon (talk) 15:35, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply
My pleasure, @Redwidgeon! Have a great day/weekend, and I am happy to answer any other questions and feedback as they come up! JKodner18 (talk) 15:38, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

Some more (late) questions[edit]

@JKodner18: Thanks for the proposal, and for the answers above. After reading more carefully, I did have a few more questions, just in case you find the time to respond still (apologies for being late to the party):

  • I appreciate your desired learning goal of "How do we build a sustainable network of volunteers — in and out of the Jewish communities with whom we work — dedicated to the documentation of Jewish languages?". After reading the proposal, I'm mostly left with the impression that it is primarily staff driven (although you express the intention to involve volunteers as well, I'm not entirely sure how). Are there any sources you're planning to recruit volunteers from, or any angles that you find hopeful?
  • The articles that you intend to create in strategy/activity B, would those be primarily focused on English? I'm asking because I could imagine that Hebrew could be a logical expansion for this, given how many of the remaining speakers live in Israel (and their families) which may be a source of interest.
  • In this same context, are you planning to collaborate with Wikimedia Israel in any way? I would definitely encourage you to reach out if you haven't done so, as they may have volunteers that might be interested in this kind of work.

Thanks! Warmly, Effeietsanders (talk) 04:48, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

Hello @Effeietsanders,
Thank you very much for your questions — all of which I am happy to answer!
  • Good question! We will indeed primarily be staff driven, though we have strategies in place for recruiting volunteers: particularly (i) social media and (ii) online events/webinar. For both methods, we will go through the Jewish Language Project, a member of the Jewish Language Consortium that performs outreach and continuously recruits volunteers. I outline both strategies below.
    • In terms of social media, the Jewish Language Project has sizable followings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where we can spread word about this grant project and recruit volunteers. Specifically, the Jewish Language Project on its website has a volunteer form, so in addition to relying on sign-ups through this source, we would send the link to it through the aforementioned social media platforms. Having recruited quite a few volunteers through this form for the past year, we have had success with this method and will use it for this project.
    • The Jewish Language Project has been running virtual events and webinars for the academic and broader communities — including ones on our work with Judeo-Iranian and Jewish Neo-Aramaic. Attendance for some of our latest events has exceeded 300 people, so this would also be a suitable venue to disseminate the volunteer form and spread word about our proposed work with WMF.
  • Thanks for bringing this up! We intend to primarily draft the articles in English, due to it being both the main language of our team and also the academic community (esp. the scholarly community around Jewish Languages). Looking at both of the language groups/communities we will be working with, I do very much agree that Hebrew (and even Persian) would be logical mediums to draft these articles in, and this is where we can use much of the volunteer help as discussed above. For example, following the drafting of our articles in English, we can recruit volunteers to translate portions of the articles into the other language(s). I appreciate you mentioning this, @Effeietsanders, as I really like this idea of expanding the accessibility of our content with WMF.
  • I reached out to Wikimedia Israel earlier this year in June, and though I have not heard back just yet, I will reach out again. I agree that they would be a great venue to recruit volunteers (esp. for Hebrew translations) and engage in collaborations.
Finally, I wanted to note that we would like to proceed with the following revised budget — thanks to the feedback from @Redwidgeon.
Thanks again for your feedback, @Effeietsanders, and I am happy to address any more questions as they arise!
Take care,
Jacob JKodner18 (talk) 14:11, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply
@JKodner18: Thanks for this prompt response, Jacob. I've noted your proposed new budget based on committee feedback and will convey this to the Regional Committee for our final review. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 15:19, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply
My pleasure! If anything else is needed, feel free to let me know. Have a great one! JKodner18 (talk) 15:21, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 54,000 USD[edit]

Congratulations! Your General Support Fund proposal is approved in the amount of 54,000 USD with a grant term starting 1 December 2022 and ending 30 November 2023.

The committee is glad to support WikiTongues User Group’s work to support better representation of languages in the Jewish diaspora in Wikimedia projects. The committee wanted to recognize several strengths in your first proposal for General Support Funding, including:

  • an important set of partnerships to support translation, transcription, and video production work.
  • A thoughtful assessment of projects risks as well as good planning to help reduce those risks, and
  • a well structured staffing plan, making clear the roles and responsibilities around advising, content work, and project management.

There was some disagreement on the committee over how best to support the additional compensation needs discussed earlier. Some committee members supported fully funding the While the committee supported additional compensation in general, some committee members supported full funding, whereas others did not support an increase in compensation where rates are set by the staff member without some basis for approval within the organization or some indication for how these rates were determined. Instead, based on your organizational strategy and budget, the committee supported a budget of 9000 USD for each of the six critically endangered Jewish languages/dialects. The committee supports your organization to allocate these funds across your budget at your discretion.

Separate from the committee recommendations, I (your program officer) wanted to also insert my own (optional) suggestion to consider using LinguaLibre to support some of audio recording documentation needs described in this proposal. Recently, my colleague Asaf (WMF) gave an excellent workshop at CEE Meeting 2022 demonstrating how anyone with a computer and a basic microphone can easily contribute audio recordings of vocabulary in their native or secondary languages. These recordings can then be automatically integrated into Wikidata. This approach could be a relatively low cost and less resource intensive way to support documentation around these endangered languages. If you’re interested, I’m happy to follow up with you to talk with you more (and to demonstrate) this approach.

The committee looks forward to seeing WikiTongue’s work with partner organizations to better document these languages in the Jewish diaspora using audiovisual content and improving key articles in these domains.

On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:48, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply