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Efsharibari in the City: Ma'alot-Tarshiha

A city nestled amidst the Galilee mountains, comprising of historic and modern neighborhoods, woods, parks, and a lake, promoting the health and wellbeing of its residents is a paramount goal.

Photo taken by: Roi Elrom

Ma'alot-Tarshiha: Introduction

Number of residents: 22,100
Socio-economic index: 5
Head of council: Arkadi Pomerantz
Health coordinator: Gallina Amador
Head of health committee: Mr. Uri Kotchner, deputy mayor and city council member
Year of joining Efsharibari in the City: 2020
Facebook page: Sports in Ma'alot-Tarshiha

The council’s vision and the importance of health

In 2020, the Ma'alot-Tarshiha Council signed and joined the Healthy Cities Network to implement the principles and strategies that promote health and sustainability for both present and future generations. The Ma'alot-Tarshiha municipality has pledged to enhance and advance the factors that affect the health of the residents: environmental, educational, social, and other factors, in cooperation with various organizations and local enterprises. The council has a health unit which is managed by the municipal health coordinator. Most initiatives in 2020 were centered around the COVID-19 situation and influenced by it.

Health-promoting policy

Upon joining the Efsharibari in the City project, the council prioritized the development of policies in three key areas:

  • Establishing a policy for buffets, meetings, and events under the responsibility of the authority: making changes to the permanent menu of the buffet and refreshments, and helping in updating all the employees of the authority about the change in menu 
  • Promoting a policy of a smoke-free city, with an emphasis on enforcement through municipal supervision, a public campaign and raising awareness about the harmful effects of smoking
  • Establishing a “Health Inspection” team in the Ma'alot-Tarshiha Municipality
  • Establishing and keeping continuous contact between the Ma'alot-Tarshiha Municipality and the Healthy Cities Network, the Ministry of Health Northern District, the Acre Health Bureau, and local HMOs

Efsharibari in the community

  • In 2020, a resuscitation course was conducted for the authority employees, and approximately 20 employees took part
  • Lectures are conducted on the issue of healthy nutrition in public places
  • Activities for World Walking Day for all the city residents
  • Unique projects for older adults
  • Unique projects for infants
  • Zoom workshops on the issue of healthy lifestyle

workshop for women

Unique program: making healthy food accessible at the local authority’s meetings

  • The goal: to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce consumption of foods high in fat and sugar among the authority’s employees
  • Target Population: 18+ year-old city residents
  • Partners: the Ma'alot-Tarshiha Municipality, the Association for Public Health

healthy refreshments

Efsharibari in education

Health promoting schools in 2019
Elementary schools: 8
High schools: 4
Health promoting kindergartens: 32

health promoting educational institutes

Link to the full map of health promoting education institutions

Key programs in the education system

  • Raising awareness of obesity among residents, with emphasis on school and kindergarten children
  • Raising awareness of a healthy and active lifestyle in the education system and among all residents
  • A team of health promoters in schools was established in Ma'alot-Tarshiha

Publicity campaigns and peak events

  • Establishing the cooperation with HMOs: the Health Week intiative at Zim Mall in the city, including customized activities and contents for several populations
  • Cooperation with a youth center, the Association of Community Centers and the Sports Promotion Society in activities and suitable workshops for the Covid era: functional training, yoga, martial arts and so on
  • Social media campaign: age-appropriate activities (for older adults) and clubs for the elderly, activities for women etc
  • World Walking Day campaign: encouraging residents to participate in activities near Monfort Lake - residents were invited to send videos and take part of a drawing of a family sports package; a march for families during which social distancing was maintained

world walking day 30.10 2020 every minute counts, sport is in our nature, ma'alot tarshiha, efashribari the national program for active and healthy living, the ministry of culture and sports

Further reading

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