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Efsharibari in the City: Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut

Parks and promenades, open fitness facilities and bicycle paths are only the beginning of health-promoting initiatives and new infrastructure in Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut.

Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut: Introduction

לוגוNumber of residents: 97,385
Socio-economic index: 8
Head of authority: Haim Bibas
Health coordinator: Michal Elimelech
Head of health committee: Baruch Buchnik, city council member
Year of joining Efsharibari in the City: 2020
Facebook page: Efsharibari Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut

The council’s vision and the importance of health

A healthy city is a city where the residents, businesses, organizations, and local authority collaborate to create a livable environment. Our goal is to improve the quality of life, equity, health, and sustainability at the local level. Promoting health is an initiative conducted by the Social Services Department in the city. The department is also involved in raising awareness of the significance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, including proper and healthy nutrition, regular physical activity, stress reduction, knowledge enhancement, volunteering, a safe environment, and a sense of belonging. This is achieved while involving the residents in activities and encouraging them to initiate, express their requirements, and take part of response development.

The Efsharibari in the City project, a national program promoting an active and healthy lifestyle at the Ministry of Health, allowed for the execution of numerous health promotion activities. Sports activities are open to the public and to dedicated groups. In addition, the project also installed numerous sports facilities in parks and shade structures, as well as organized activities and workshops addressing the topic of healthy nutrition for new immigrants, older adults, after-school facilities managed by the Social Services Division and the schools, etc.


Health-supporting policy

A new supplier has been selected to provide healthy food for children in the after-school facilities (following a tender), in line with the Ministry of Health’s nutrition guidelines.

A media campaign was carried out to encourage the consumption of products from nearby sources, including local suppliers.

Health-promoting policy in the city

  • A policy for installing sports facilities and allocating areas for physical activity for at-risk and disabled populations
  • A policy for adding physical activity time for school children
  • A policy for the provision of healthy refreshments and water at meetings and events managed by the council
  • A policy to guarantee healthy and safe food provision in municipal settings
  • A policy for monitoring the food supply in kiosks and vending machines located in public places in the council
  • A policy for enforcing the ban on smoking in public areas according to the requirements outlined in the report submitted to the Minister of Health
  • Improving the physical environment
  • 50 bicycle and walking paths have been constructed throughout the city of Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut. Every neighborhood has parks with fitness facilities in natural surroundings, as well as facilities for children. Most of them are shaded and equipped with lighting for nighttime use
  • A new and large park has just been built in Park Anava, which consists of numerous sports facilities and walking paths
  • A walking path has been constructed (Yair Parag Street) with signage promoting health and healthy nutrition 
  • There is one communal garden in the city

Efsharibari in the community

Healthy nutrition: with the aim of raising awareness of healthy nutrition, we have emphasized the topic, including its importance and how to integrate it in programs targeted at various populations in the city. We have conducted healthy nutrition workshops for older adults, new immigrants, children in the after-school facilities managed by the Social Services Division and afterschool-care assistants, etc.

Unique program: “Yoga in the Park”

  • Objectives and benchmarks: to motivate residents to regularly participate in outdoor physical activities for a period of four months, introduce them to activities that enhance both their physical and mental well-being, and enable parents and children to engage in physical activity at the same time. Two yoga circles were organized to introduce children to this activity, and enable parents to engage in an activity nearby.
  • Target audience: adults of all ages and children
  • A short description of the program: once a week over 4 months, yoga lessons were organized in the park; a primary activity was organized for adults, and 2 separate circles for children aged 3-7. The activity was free of charge.
  • Collaboration: the Sports Department, Sanja Yoga Center 
  • The programs’ achievements: the program has operated in the city for the past two years. Before COVID-19, approximately 150 people participated in each gathering and found the program enjoyable. We dispersed the groups throughout the park, and some participants who attended regularly referred to the activity as “a haven of sanity”
  • For further details about the program


Efsharibari in education

Health promoting schools in 2019
Elementary schools: 22
High schools: 6

As part of the Efsharibari project, a training program for kindergarten teachers was conducted with the aim of increasing physical activity, as well as establishing an active center. We organized several frontal meetings followed by some meetings via Zoom.
A training session was conducted for afterschool-care assistants on healthy nutrition and methods to encourage children to enjoy healthy food.

Key programs and activities in the education system

Promoting healthy nutrition in elementary schools: five elementary schools were selected in the city, and throughout the year they engaged in promoting health and healthy nutrition. Each school was accompanied by a dietitian who supported the process and organized activities. This included a peak event for parents for promoting health, a workshop for teachers, parents, and children, a newsletter sent to parents on health promotion, training health coordinators, encouraging attention to food labels, organizing activities in supermarkets, etc. An emphasis was given to experiential activity, knowledge enhancement, exposure to new tastes, new products, and new and appropriate selection of food as part of the healthy nutrition initiative. Each school had the freedom to choose an activity that suited its needs and was in line with its annual program.

health promoting schools map

Link to the full map of health promoting education institutions

Initiatives to promote an active and healthy lifestyle have been organized year-round on all the authority's media platforms, including the website, Facebook, and newsletters.

World Walking Day initiatives

  • In 2019, a World Walking Day event was held on the Hula Valley trail which was attended by 350 people. Moreover, walking activities were organized in several schools in the city.
  • In the 2020 World Walking Day event, independent walks were organized on three trails with hundreds of participants. The event included prize distribution, photo uploads, publications, and winners received prizes.

Further reading

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