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Efsharibari in the City: Golan Regional Council

From Mount Hermon to the Yarmouk River, the Golan boasts of streams, fresh air, and a lively atmosphere. In the 32 Golan regional localities, promoting the health of the residents is a top priority.

Golan Regional Council: Introduction

לוגוNumber of residents: 176,000
Socio-economic index: 6
Head of authority: Haim Rokach
Health coordinator: Michal Naor
Head of Public Health Committee: Gal Gafni, deputy head of authority
Year of joining Efsharibari in the City: 2019
Facebook page: The Council's Health Department website, Golan Regional Council on Facebook

The council’s vision and the importance of health

This is a community that upholds values essential for a fulfilling life such as freedom, responsibility, initiative, social justice, and a love for humanity. The health unit applies health promotion strategies that fit all age groups, ranging from childhood to adulthood. The unit promotes social engagement and healthcare initiatives within the community, focusing on topics such as physical activity, healthy nutrition, mental wellness, and support for high-risk populations and those with chronic illnesses.

Preventive medicine is at the core of the health system, providing an open and friendly landscape for children and adults to engage in ample sports and leisure activities. It also promotes the concept of "nutritional medicine," which involves reducing processed food consumption and shifting to "simple" foods. The health system supports health education from early childhood through school and adolescence. Healthy food options are implemented in nurseries and kindergartens, and a healthy lifestyle is promoted among older adults. Additionally, it prioritizes the mental and physical resilience of populations with special needs, including those with chronic illnesses.

Efsharibari in the education system

For early childhood: healthy and active nurseries in the Golan localities.

A joint venture: the health unit, the Early Childhood Department, and the managers of nurseries. This initiative is implemented in all the local nurseries for children aged 0–3. A professional team, consisting of a health unit coordinator, a neuro-developmental physiotherapist, a dietitian, a pedagogic instructor, and a movement instructor for early childhood, supports the program.

The program consists of:

  1. Guidance for both the educational teams and parents covering topics such as food-related mediation during meals, emphasizing the importance of physical activity in early childhood, and promoting the "Smart in the Sun" initiative
  2. Engaging parents in the change process as a means for family change and healthy lifestyle habits
  3. A movement workshop that combines touch and movement is offered to the educational team, parents, and children. It is based on the principles of Contact-Kids and yoga for children
  4. Practical guidance on this issue for the entire local educational team; allocating a dedicated cook at the nurseries; offering a wider variety of food to infants. A professional team of women leads this initiative: Ortal Rabinovich, clinical dietitian; and Dr. Ilana Shechtman, pedagogic counsellor, and a nursery integrator
  5. Personal meetings: initial counselling for parents
  6. Cooks’ forum meetings 4 times a year
  7. Work and monitoring team for the program

פעילות לילדים

Efsharibari in education

Health-promoting schools in 2019
Elementary schools: 9
High schools: 1

Programs and key activities in the education system

  • The teacher as a role model: the teacher acts as a role model for healthy behavior, teaches about health promotion, and gives the children positive and close attention at breakfast
  • Healthy kiosk at school: establishing a kiosk/bar where the children can buy, at affordable prices, varied and nutritionally balanced food that meets high sanitation standards to ensure safe consumption
  • Getting through adolescence safely: a sequence of sessions for 7th-8th grade children at schools to discuss the topics of nutrition during adolescence, body image, beauty standards, media influence, stereotypes, and the risks of dieting. The aim of these sessions is to help pupils understand the correlation between nutrition and optimizing growth potential. The initiative also aims to promote body positivity and encourage critical thinking about the misconception of thinness
  • Dental health of schoolchildren: from kindergarten through 9th grade, the children are eligible for two sessions with a hygienist/dentist, including oral hygiene explanation and guidance for toothbrushing, and another session dedicated to a doctor’s exam to identify caries, fungus, bruises, and other lesions
  • Healthy summer camps: training for camp leaders by a dietitian, emphasizing healthy nutrition at the summer camp, and reducing candy consumption

health promoting schools map

Link to the full map of health promoting education institutions

Programs for the Golan seniors

  • A health awareness month for the Golan seniors, in collaboration with Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, and the Clalit Health Services
  • A series of distance learning gatherings with professional medical and healthcare specialists in October and November
  • Local physical activity program for people ages 60 and over
  • Physical activity groups managed by seniors in each locality
  • A campaign - "Playing and Smiling with and for Seniors" in senior clubs, led by seniors 

Healthcare programs in the community

  • Support centers for cancer patients and survivors in collaboration with the Israel Cancer Association: support groups for physical and emotional well-being at the Haspin and Katzrin community centers; volunteers provide transportation for patients to the centers and offer assistance and guidance
  • Making physical activity accessible and affordable: physical activity groups at affordable prices, in collaboration with Clalit Health Services in Afik, Had Ness, Ani'am, Ortal, Ein Zivan, and Keshet
  • Women for women”: Supporting activities in the woman’s community clinic; establishing empowerment workshops for physical and emotional well-being and for healthy nutrition
  • World Walking Day: a family walk around the localities

Activity for the elderly

The Council's program of commitment to health

  • Starting to use reusable utensils: in the council’s buildings and its branches
  • Community residents and local authority employees receive a training course on exercising their rights through a collaborative program with the volunteers' unit, which aims to promote knowledge about residents' and employees' rights and improve responses to their needs
  • The council set up a designated smoking area outside its building for the employees and visitors to prevent smoking hazards
  • World Walking Day: a family walk around the localities


  • Health committee: including the deputy mayor, plenum members, representatives of the localities, the health unit, and the administration of the Counselling and Care Division
  • Efsharibari steering committee
  • Collaborations and work meetings with HMOs, the Ministry of Health, and health centers
  • Work meetings with the Healthy Cities Network
  • Public participation meetings to strengthen medicine in the Galilee and Golan
  • Participation in seminars and conferences of the Ministry of Health and the Eastern Galilee Forum

Community activity

Further reading

Efsharibari in the City: map of participating local authorities and companies (Hebrew)
Efsharibari in the City guide for local authorities (Hebrew)