News & Stories

Chai for Israel Wikipedia

Conference Celebrating the 18th Anniversary of Hebrew Wikipedia was hosted by the Faculty of Instructional Technologies.


The annual conference of the Israeli Wikipedia community took place on campus, this year marking a very special ‘chai’ celebration since its founding.  The Hebrew-speaking community includes dedicated volunteers who spend days and nights composing new entries, editing, correcting and updating existing entries, maintaining the quality of entries and more. The "face-to-face" conference was very gratifying as it is the first live non-Zoom event with Wikipedians from all over the country since the Corona outbreak over one and a half years ago.

The collaboration between Wikimedia Israel (the association that operates Wikipedia) and HIT’s Faculty of Instructional Technologies began in early 2021. Ms. Gitit Podemsky of Wikimedia Israel proposed a final project, and the challenge was taken up by students Rotem Carmi and Emil Tayeb (supervised by Noga Lavie-Reznik and Dr. Hagit Meishar-Tal).  The need, as defined by Gitit:   making the reading experience of the Israeli Wikipedia more enjoyable and meaningful for students.

During the event, Rotem and Emil introduced gamification into the mix.  Enthusiastic and positive audience response quickly ensued,  and immediately thereafter,  more games prepared by the audience began to be added to the game environment.

During the event, interesting data trends on the habits of Israelis using Wikipedia during the Covid -19 period was presented by Dror Avi from Israel Wikimedia. The data showed that the number of monthly views of Wikipedia in Israel is significantly greater than the number of views in all other countries in the world! In June 2021, 57,000 views were recorded in Israel as compared to 1,000 in the US, which occupies second place.

Over the past year, the number of monthly views by citizens from the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Iraq and more increased significantly. 


Posted: 11/07/2021

Last updated: 20/07/2021