Hebrew Wikipedia

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Hebrew wikipedia main page 2010.png
Snapshot of Hebrew Wikipedia main page, 2010
Web address he.wikipedia.org
Commercial? No
Type of site Internet encyclopedia project
Registration Optional
Available in Hebrew
Owner Wikimedia Foundation

Hebrew Wikipedia (Hebrew: ויקיפדיה: האנציקלופדיה החופשית‎; Wikipedya: ha-entsiklopedya ha-ḥofshit, IPA: [wikiˈpedja ha(ʔ)entsikloˈpedja haχofˈʃit]) is the Hebrew language edition of Wikipedia. This edition began in August 2003 and contains more than 163,000 articles as of October 2014.


Timeline history[edit]

  • July 8, 2003: The Hebrew edition of Wikipedia was launched.
  • October 25, 2003: The 1,000th article was written.
  • July 22, 2004: The first meeting of Hebrew Wikipedians took place in Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • September 10, 2004: The 10,000th article was written.
  • September 20, 2004: The Hebrew version of the Flag of Kazakhstan article became the one millionth article created in all Wikipedias.
  • December 24, 2006: The 50,000th article was written.
  • January 10, 2010: The 100,000th article was written.
  • August 29, 2013: The 150,000th article was written.


The Hebrew Wikipedia has several topics on which organized article writing projects were held, among them Wikitort - an academic project to write original articles about tort law,[1] PhysiWiki - a project to write and improve articles about Physics with the cooperation of Weizmann Institute of Science,[2] and ongoing academic projects[citation needed] during which mathematics students write as their assignments new articles which cover topics from the basics of calculus and linear algebra up to advanced topics of functional analysis, abstract algebra and algebraic geometry.

Another major area of work is Jewish history and the History of Israel. Such articles often include original photos taken by the writers. In 2006 the Elef Millim project[3] (English: Thousand Words project) was created; its purpose is to enrich Wikipedia with free images. As a part of this project, groups of Israeli Wikipedians meet for field trips in various places in Israel in order to take pictures and bring members of the Hebrew Wikipedia community together.

Hebrew spelling is a matter of debate. The standards published by the Academy of the Hebrew Language are not meticulously followed in common usage, so the Hebrew Wikipedia community decides on problematic cases of spelling by discussions or polls for the sake of consistency within the project. When technically possible, spelling decisions are periodically enforced using automatic replacement by a bot.[4]

Other information[edit]

Over the years, Hebrew Wikipedia has become one of the most popular sources of information for Israelis. In a 2012 qualitative research, 51 Israeli teachers of different grades were asked about their use habits of Wikipedia, and most of them responded that they don't use it as the main source for teaching, and instead search for other reliable websites on Google. Hebrew Wikipedia's requirements for notability standards are relatively very strict.

In 2006, Hebrew Wikipedia collaborated with Hebrew University students and in 2011 with students from Haifa University, encouraging them to contribute to topics they majored in. Hebrew Wikipedia also conducts yearly competitions, sometimes with the assistance of the Wikimedia foundation.

Hebrew Wikipedia users have turned the website into a more socially connected place. Sometimes, users meet up for a picnic, or edit alongside their family members. Currently, 76% of the editors are men, and 23% are women. In July 2007, the first book in Israel whose main character was a Wikipedian was published.

2010 Knesset meeting[edit]

On the occasion of the 100,000 articles milestone, the Science and Technology Committee of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) invited Wikipedia contributors and users to the 2 February 2010 morning meeting, to join in a debate about Wikipedia and other open-source resources. Some Wikipedia contributors at the meeting criticized "the lack of government cooperation with their efforts to compile a free online Hebrew-language encyclopedia," as well as sharing complaints from Wikipedia editors abroad that since the Israel Defense Forces does not release photos for free redistribution on the Internet, the sole source of available pictures for entries such as the Gaza War and the 2006 Lebanon War are the Palestinians.[5]

Comparisons with other language editions[edit]

In July 2006, Hebrew Wikipedia had one of the highest amounts of bytes per article, and the highest of all editions on Wikipedia with over 20,000 articles.[6]

Whereas the English Wikipedia requires a general consensus for deleting articles (hence deletion discussion is not considered to be a voting process), the Hebrew Wikipedia has adopted a policy of deletion upon a 55% majority, with no minimum number of votes.[7] In these votes, only registered users with one month seniority and at least 100 edits in the article, image, category or template namespaces in the past 90 days can vote.

Strict inclusion criteria[edit]

Adding on the aforementioned, comparing to English Wikipedia, Hebrew Wikipedia is much more conservative, regarding what types of content may be in it[8] - even when complying with all the basic guidelines for good encyclopedic writing.[9][10]

Two major examples are articles about porn (mainly, porn stars and porn movies) and articles or sub-articles elaborating on episodes' synopses. Often, even concise episode listings are dismissed. Other fairly controversial topics are articles of small schools and other minor educational institutions.[11]

Notwithstanding the above, as years go by, exclusionary rules have become looser, and today we can witness more and more articles about porn stars[12] and concise episode listings, though still, they are discussed on an ad-hoc basis.


External links[edit]