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Efsharibari in the City: Kfar Saba

Amidst orchards and high-tech compounds, with a mix of old and new neighborhoods, Kfar Saba launches an initiative to promote the health of its residents.

Kfar Saba: Introduction

Number of residents: 111,047
Socio-economic index: 8
Head of authority: Rafi Saar
Health coordinator: Sharon Gerogi
Head of Public Health Committee: Itai Tsachar, Municipal Director General
Year of joining Efsharibari in the City: 2020
Website: Kfar Saba Municipality’s Health Program

The council’s vision and the importance of health

In 2006, Kfar Saba became a member of the Healthy Cities Network with the objective of enhancing the well-being and quality of life of its residents.
The Health Promoting Department strives to enhance health by addressing health disparities, fostering a healthy urban environment, and empowering the community. To achieve these objectives, the department endeavors to promote a healthy and active lifestyle by raising awareness, encouraging physical activity, and encouraging healthy eating habits. Additionally, the department aims to promote urban resilience by offering resources to manage stress and hardship at the individual, familial, and community levels. The department operates in three key areas: education, community, and public communication.

Health-supporting policy: “Living in a Healthy City”

The council’s aim is to develop a policy focusing on the issue of a healthy and active lifestyle, while also fostering a comprehensive urban collaboration with all relevant internal and external organizational partners: 

  • Healthy refreshments: the Kfar Saba Municipality strives to make healthy food accessible during work meetings, as well as at city conferences. Therefore, guidelines have been implemented and an internal document has been circulated among the managers of the units. This document provides an overview of the principles of healthy nutrition and offers instructions for proper food intake.
  • Healthy kiosks: A tender was released to oversee the food supply in educational institutions and public venues under the responsibility of the council, according to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education’s guidelines. This year, a special training was organized for kiosk owners to ensure their compliance with the requirements of the purple badge.
  • Law enforcement policy prohibiting smoking in public places according to the report submitted to the Ministry of Health with collaboration of the Supervision Division and the Safety and Security Department.

Improving the physical environment

  • Community gardens: the city of Kfar Saba has 18 community gardens throughout the city, operated by the neighbourhoods’ residents. The aim of the gardens is to allow the residents to connect with the earth and the community where they live.
  • Bicycle paths: the city of Kfar Saba is leading a large-scale effort to construct extensive bicycle paths throughout the city. This initiative aims to establish a comprehensive network of paths within the city, with the goals of reducing reliance on private vehicles, alleviating traffic congestion, and encouraging physical activity.

aerial image

In the photo: a map of the walking paths and open fitness and sports facilities, the Kfar Saba Municiplaity website

Efsharibari in the community

  • Community festivals: "Near Home, at the Rhythm of the Heart, a Healthy and Happy Family": this is the fifth year of the festival "A Healthy and Happy Family", taking place every year in February with an extensive municipal collaboration involving community centers, senior clubs, and the Home for Special Families. The festival includes a diverse range of workshops focused on movement and sports, such as meditation and yoga, as well as healthy cooking workshops. These workshops fit various target populations, including parents and children, grandparents with their grandchildren, individuals with special needs, and older adults.
  • "Seniors on the Move": four groups have been formed to encourage physical activity among older adults in public spaces - guided walking, folk dance, T’ai Chi, and yoga. These groups meet once a week, and participation is free of charge, with the aim of promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among older adults, residents of the city.
  • Older age resilience: providing training to older adult volunteers to enhance older age resilience and equip them with effective coping strategies for the daily challenges of aging. Following the training, offering community groups and individual guidance to older adults in the city, aimed at teaching them valuable resilience tools. The training for the second group (Class B) has been successfully completed this year, and they will soon commence guiding additional groups within the community.

Unique program: “Education Resilience”

  • Objectives and aims: providing tools to effectively manage distress and anxiety in both everyday situations and emergencies
  • Target audience: all the schools in the city, including elementary and high schools
  • Partners: the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Education’s Supervision/Education Division - Elementary and High School Departments, the Educational-Psychological Service, the Psychological-Counseling Service, and the Health Promoting and Municipal Resilience Department

For the fourth consecutive year, the Cohen Harris Resilience Center is delivering the Resilience Program to all schools in the city. This program provides psycho-educational tools to manage stressful situations and focuses on four aspects: physical, cognitive, emotional, and attention and concentration. The program is designed for elementary to high school children, as well as teaching teams, therapy teams, and parents. The program was supported by a study that demonstrated its significant impact on enhancing the coping abilities of children and young people in crisis situations.

תמונת פעילות

Efsharibari in education

Health promoting schools in 2019
Elementary schools: 17
High schools: 2

Key programs and activities in the education system

  • Health promoting schools: establishing and developing annual programs for health promotion in schools with the support of a municipal health promoting dietitian. Conducting workshops in schools for teachers and children who act as health ambassadors, covering essential topics such as healthy nutrition, physical activity, and maintaining mental resilience. During COVID-19, workshops were organized for educational teams and online lessons were developed.
  • Efsharibari in Equal Movement: 200 kits were allocated to kindergartens within the state education, state-religious school system, and special education system across the city. The kits consist of games for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, social tolerance, and gender equality. The kits enhance play and movement experiences, storytellling, and provide equal opportunities for engaging in various sports and cooperative social games. The initiative entailed extensive collaboration among government ministries: the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and the Ministry of Education, as well as municipal departments - the Health Promoting and Municipal Resilience Department, the Women’s Council, the Kindergartens’ Department, and the Municipal Sports Authority. During COVID-19, guided imagery and healthy nutrition workshops were organized for kindergarten children and parents who stayed at home during the quarantine.
  • A municipal hackathon was organized to promote health and enhance resilience among young people: this year, the first municipal competition was conducted - an online hackathon with teams representing all junior high schools in the city. As part of the municipal hackathon, the students tried to unravel the concept of a healthy lifestyle, exploring its various facets. The students were presented with data from Israel and worldwide concerning the obesity epidemic and the health conditions associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. Eventually, the students tried to present creative solutions for promoting a healthy lifestyle and enhancing the mental resilience of young people in the city of Kfar Saba. The hackathon included over 160 students, accompanied by mentors from a variety of disciplines: nutrition, physical activity, smoking prevention, mental resilience, gender equality, loneliness prevention, drug abuse treatment, and suicide prevention. The conference opened with an inspiring lecture by Yarden Gerby, "On the Way to Achieve the Goal". The students developed creative and diverse ideas for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for young people.
  • Training sessions for educational teams: the educational teams of kindergartens (long school day program) participated in four training sessions throughout the year, focusing on promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, the significance of healthy nutrition, and the importance of physical activity during early childhood.

health promoting schoolls map

Link to the full map of health promoting education institutions


Publicity during COVID-19: in the start of the COVID-19 crisis, 28 videos were recorded and uploaded to the national website of the Ministry of Health, Efsharibari. The videos encompassed a range of content, including the city’s response to COVID-19, covering topics such as security, welfare, multilingual instructions from the mayor on maintaining health during the pandemic, as well as healthy nutrition, physical activity, leisure activities for parents and children, etc.
Furthermore, online lectures were delivered to residents and professionals, focusing on topics such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and fostering resilience at the individual, familial, and community levels.
The municipality produced a booklet entitled Creating and Having Fun, which compiled a large range of ideas and home activity suggestions for the entire family (during quarantine and lockdown periods).

publicity video recording

publicity video recording

Further reading

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