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Efsharibari in the City: Ramla

With a rich and fascinating history, Ramla is moving forward to promote the health of its residents with several new initiatives.

Photo taken by: Amos Ben-Gershon, Government Press Office

Ramla: Introduction

לוגוNumber of residents: 77,000
Socio-economic index: 5
Head of authority: Michael Vidal
Health coordinator: Yael Nessimyan-Fai
Head of health committee: Ronen Azaria, Municipal Director General
Year of joining Efsharibari in the City: 2018
Facebook page: A Healthy City – Ramla Municipality

The council’s vision and the importance of health

The Efsharibari program is implemented in Ramla to promote the residents’ awareness of a variety of topics associated with an active and healthy lifestyle, such as physical activity, healthy nutrition, prevention and cessation of smoking, community vegetable gardens, healthy sexuality, and mental resilience. Furthermore, this program aims to create infrastructures and provide resources and support for the welfare of the residents, to help them make healthy choices. The target populations of the program are all residents of the city and specifically children, parents, seniors, workers, and special-needs populations. The program suits all sectors and customizes its activities to fit the cultural context.

The Municipal Administration and Coordination Division oversees the Unit for Health Promotion in the municipality. In 2012, the municipal health coordinator commenced their work, and in 2018 substantial and consistent funding has been received as part of the public appeal for the Efsharibari in the City initiative on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

Health supporting policy

  • Between 2013 and 2017, a comprehensive municipal health survey was conducted, which included a representative sample of 2200 residents, in collaboration with the Healthy Cities Network. The purpose of the survey was to assess the health status of the residents across multiple dimensions. Prospective initiatives were established based on the survey’s results 
  • A collective and comprehensive process on the issue of nutrition has been initiated in the kindergartens in Ramla, together with the supervisors, the kindergarten teachers, and the kindergarten municipal department. The initiative included topics such as allergies and introduced a healthier breakfast menu for kindergartens.
  • The municipality employs a dietitian to support and advise the educational institutions in the city on promoting the issue of proper nutrition, and to establish health leadership groups in schools.
  • In 2016, Ramla was declared a smoking-free city at the city’s council meeting. Since then, the enforcement of a smoking ban in public areas has been enhanced, as well as promoting anti-smoking measures through encouragement and publicity in schools. Various collaborations have been initiated with the HMOs about smoking, as well as on the issue of the annual World No Tobacco Day, celebrated in the city every year since 2015.
  • In 2019, seven walking paths were constructed with the aim of encouraging and enhancing the residents’ physical activity. The Unit for Health Promotion is collaborating with the Sports and Events Division to construct more infrastructure to promote physical activity.
  • The Sports and Events Division placed many fitness facilities in the city’s public gardens.

Efsharibari in the community

Establishing a parenthood community in Ramla: a house for parents in the city. The initiative comprises of lectures, workshops and activities for parents and children, mainly via Zoom. The lectures and workshops cover a diverse range of health topics, including proper nutrition tailored to children of different ages, smoking cessation for parents of children, healthy parenthood in all its aspects, parents' and children’s resilience, particularly during the challenging period of COVID-19, and discussing healthy sexuality with children of varying ages.

Unique program: active and healthy lifestyle for the city’s older adults

  • Objectives and benchmarks: increasing the number of the city’s senior residents who engage in physical activity and enjoy healthy nutrition and and mental resilience, especially during the COVID-19 period. Regular virtual meetings promoting a healthy lifestyle are conducted via Zoom, while efforts are made to establish and expand existing senior communities within different neighborhoods of the city. Additionally, walking groups are established to encourage physical activity.
  • Target audience – older adults
  • A short description of the program - regular virtual healthy lifestyle meetings are conducted via Zoom: 3 regular weekly physical activity meetings for older adults are conducted via zoom, one nutrition meeting is conducted once a week, as well as various lectures on the issue of mental resilience. Furthermore, efforts are made to establish and expand existing senior communities within several neighborhoods of the city, while establishing walking groups. The walking groups follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and meet the purple standard mark.
  • The program's collaboration with various bodies, organizations, and residents highlights this municipal program as a key partner.
  • The program’s achievements in terms of participants, and reported or anticipated changes: specifically, over 50 participants have taken part in almost every Zoom activity, walking groups of up to 19 participants, in addition to an instructor, have been established in five neighborhoods according to the purple standard mark. Physical activity kits have been distributed to older adults who participated in various activities.


Efsharibari in education

Health promoting schools in 2019
Elementary schools: 17
High schools: 6

health promoting schools

Link to the full map of health promoting education institutions

• The city's educational institutions received close accompaniment over the past five years by a health-promoting dietitian. This includes promoting knowledge and tools by providing accessible information and knowledge on various topics of health promotion with an emphasis on healthy nutrition. The aim of the program has been to increase the number of health-promoting educational institutions, in collaboration with the health supervisors of the Ministry of Health. The dietitian also instructs the kindergarten teachers on establishing healthy menus in the kindergartens and schools, with an emphasis on allergic children.
• During 2018-2019, a municipal health-promoting course for teachers has been conducted and over the years there has been dialogue and collaboration on the subject with the Education Division, the supervisors on behalf of the Ministry of Health, and the Early Childhood Center’s supervisor in the city.
• Lectures and workshops on healthy nutrition and lifestyle are being conducted for children’s parents across the city. Furthermore, in 2020, all first-grade children received food boxes with a designated space for fruits and vegetables with the aim of encouraging them to bring it to class. Additionally, a pamphlet with healthy breakfast recipes was provided.
• Furthermore, an initiative for physical activity in educational institutions was launched in collaboration with the Sports Division. In 2020, All the kindergartens in Ramla received "It's Worth Moving" kits, which were purchased from the Ministry of Culture and Sports.


“Cooking Efsharibari” activity in Ramla

Further reading

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