2023:Program/Community Initiatives/CKMAUT-WikiShtetl: Preserving the memories of lost communities

From Wikimania

Title: WikiShtetl: Preserving the memories of lost communities


Tehila Hertz

Amihai Bannett

Hi! My name is Amihai Bannett, from Bet Shemesh, Israel. I have been a Wikipedian since 2006, editing mostly in Hebrew Wikipedia. I have tens of thousands of edits, over the years. My day job is CEO of Herzog Global at Herzog College Very excited to attend my 2nd Wikimania, the 1st out of my country. I am very active in Wikimedia Israel, our local chapter. Excited to talk about Wikishtetl going global!

Pretalx link

Etherpad link

Room: Room 326

Start time: Thu, 17 Aug 2023 14:15:00 +0800

End time: Thu, 17 Aug 2023 14:35:00 +0800

Type: Lecture

Track: Community Initiatives

Submission state: confirmed

Duration: 20 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

The WikiShtetl project was established with the aim of commemorating Jewish communities that were damaged or destroyed in the Holocaust in Wikipedia and Wikimedia commons, thereby giving them a memory, a name and a face. Through the project, small and unknown lost communities, as well as large ones, are brought to public memory.

Description[edit source]

The Wikishtetl Project has been taking place in Hebrew since 2016, focusing on commemorating Jewish communities that were damaged or destroyed in the holocaust, using the Wikipedia platform. The project sprouted from an educational context, designed to support more creative and meaningful assignments for history students in the framework of their academic studies.

In the years 2020-2021 a public Wikipedia contest was held as part of the project, including a media contest in which family photos and visual materials were added to Wikimedia Commons as historic visual testimonials. Thus far, approx. 150 entries were created, as part of the project.

As an online initiative, Wikishtetl serves as a public and collaborative focal point for learning, preservation and documentation of the heritage of lost Jewish communities. The project’s vision is that descendants of community members together with local citizens from all over the world, living in the towns and cities where the communities existed, collaborate to contribute to the local, community and family knowledge, preserving the fading memories of the communities.

Currently, a unique and innovative educational program is being composed for the 2023-2024 school year, both in Hebrew for Israeli schools and in English for schools around the world with Wikishtetl as a focal point, combining multidisciplinary learning in a wide variety of subjects, in a way that contributes to a meaningful and effective learning process. An alternative assessment replaces the exam, thus enabling in-depth learning, and the creation and acquisition of diverse skills.

In 2023, the launch of the expanded global Wikishtetl Project was approved, with the support of Herzog Global, the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora’s Unit-ED Program and Wikimedia Israel, expanding the scope and language range of entries.

The lecture will share the project’s past activity, discuss its findings and conclusions and present the vision for future activity, demonstrating the potential of Wikishtetl as a format that can be copied by endangered cultures and indigenous communities for the preservation of their history and heritage.

Further details[edit source]

Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

The Wikishtetl project aims to give platform to the histories, tales and heritages of lost Jewish communities with the belief that every society’s story is important, no matter how small or rural. One of the project’s visions is to bring together descendants of community members and local citizens living in the cities and towns where Jewish communities existed pre-WWII to contribute to the digitization of knowledge, data and media to related to their and their families’ local history, thus helping to pass over the memories and visual testimonies of the lives of the communities and their tragic destruction in the holocaust, to future generations.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Empty Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand