Yoninah's final edit was on 18 January 2021, an abrupt end to a long and prolific tenure on Wikipedia. At the time, she was among our 400 most active editors. She was especially active at Did you know (DYK), where she mentored new contributors, reviewed nominations, and prepared sets of "hooks" to be published on the Main Page. Over the years, there had been offers to nominate her as a Wikipedia admin, but Yoninah politely refused each time, saying she was happy just being an editor. She was so omnipresent on the DYK project that her sudden absence was felt immediately among the community. Several editors began to post on her talk page on 28 January, ten days after her final edit, to wish her well and hope for her speedy return. Sadly, she never did.
Yoninah was an editor since 3 July 2005, first interested in Roots: The Saga of an American Family. She resided in Jerusalem and identified as a Jewish professional editor, writing articles for Wikipedia about (in her order) rabbis, Breslov personalities, Jewish personalities, Hasidic dynasties, yeshivas, streets, neighborhoods, landmarks, cemeteries, Jewish themes, books and films. She might have also included food and women biographies among her contributions. Some of her articles reached Good Article status, including Birds' Head Haggadah, Chaim Topol, Chavrusa, Downtown Triangle, Schwester Selma and The Precious Legacy. Yoninah, who enjoyed photography, was also active on Commons, where she contributed several images related to Jewish holidays and themes, along with photos of people and places in Jerusalem.
She became the soul of DYK. Yoninah assembled diverse and interesting sets of DYK "hooks", brought her knowledge of a wide array of topics to the project, and always put our readers' interests at the forefront of her work. She contributed hundreds of articles to DYK; among her last was Psalm 148, written in collaboration. She added Hebrew text and facts about use in Judaism to almost sixty of the Psalms. She was known as someone who could find high-quality, visually intriguing images to use for DYK. As one editor noted, it's not an overstatement to say that "Yoninah has touched the lives of almost every English-speaking person in the world with access to the internet—not primarily because of the articles she wrote, but the huge positive effect she had in our community."
Her death was announced to the community at Wikipedia talk:Deceased Wikipedians on 17 March 2021, and confirmed privately by various editors. However, out of respect for Yoninah's privacy, additional information about her real-life identity and her death have since been suppressed. We never knew what she looked like, or any other personal information that did not relate directly to DYK and Wikipedia. Yoninah's gift to the world was what Wikipedia was created for—a sharing of knowledge that renders invisible the boundaries of geography and politics.
Over 60 Wikipedians have left testimonials on her talk page, including:
Yoninah was beloved by many and will be remembered. May her memory be a blessing.