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Celebrate It: Promotion of the Healthy Celebration of Holidays and Events in Preschools and Schools

A new guide by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, as part of the national program Efsharibari, for the promotion of healthy celebration of holidays in preschools and schools

The guide "Celebrate It" was developed for school principals, homeroom teachers, subject teachers, supplementary education staff and anyone who wishes to take part in the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle in schools, from preschool through the 12th grade. it was written by leading experts in the fields of education, nutrition, health promotion, social marketing and physical activity.

The education system tends to treat the official calendar of the State of Israel as part of the annual curriculum and celebrate it in school festivals and events. Additionally, there are also specific dates for the education system that are also regularly celebrated throughout the years, such as parents' day, annual class trip days, birthdays, report card days and more.

Just like the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health are concerned with the promotion of health in the education system during ordinary school days, among other things with the help of the national program Efsharibari and the initiatives "Eat It" and "Go for It", the need also arises to incorporate health promotion aspects as part of the commemoration of holidays and special occasions throughout the school year.

Around holidays, commemoration days and events there are many customs, some of them are traditional customs such as lighting the menorah on Hanukkah, eating the Seder night meal on Passover and exchanging gift baskets on Purim, while others are cultural customs, social customs and school-related customs such as end of school year celebrations and more.

These customs are an inseparable part of the life of every student in the State of Israel, and the education system sees it as a matter of great importance to address health and nutrition-related concerns since many of the customs include unique foods and refreshments and they should be taken as an opportunity to incorporate physical activity, movement and opportunities for outdoor activities, as part of the integration of an active and healthy lifestyle into everyday school activities.

Even though each holiday or event is a "once a year" occasion, over the course of the school year there are many holidays and events and therefore we believe that there is a need to develop tools, recommendations and ideas for the celebration of these days and occasions in a healthier and more active manner all the while upholding the traditions. This is Efsharibari.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, as part of the national program Efsharibari, have developed the manual "Celebrate It" that includes health recommendations, ideas for health promotion activities, healthy recipes for every single holiday, special occasion or school event, and more.

The complete guide is in development stages. In the meantime, we have released separately the materials (in Hebrew) for the following holidays and occasions:

Celebrate it: Rosh Hashanah
Celebrate it: Yom Kippur
Celebrate it: Sukkot and Simchat Torah
Celebrate it: Hanukkah
Celebrate it: Tu BiShvat
Celebrate it: Family Day
Celebrate it: Purim
Celebrate it: Pesach
Celebrate it: Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Celebrate it: Independence Day
Celebrate it: Shavuot