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Mehayom: the Israeli Forum for a Healthy Lifestyle

National Network: 
P.O Box 56065
6156001 Tel Aviv
Organisation Type: 
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment: 
General Information: 

The Israeli nonprofit, Mehayom: the Israeli Forum for a Healthy Lifestyle is the largest mobilizers for better health and illness, obesity, and diabetes prevention in Israel. Our team includes the Chairman of the National Council for Diabetes, Prof. Itamar Raz, and the previous Secretary of State, Ovad Yechezkel as well as 3 other staff members. We partner with government and communities to implement culturally-specific environments for tens of thousands of Israelis. Our projects include: City Health Culture, Women’s Health in Arab Communities, Diabetes Awareness in the Ethiopian Community, Ultra-Orthodox Awareness and Environments, Workplaces. The Budgetary resource available in a year is 225,000 USD.

Our Sponsors & Partners
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Israel, Women's International Zionist Organization, Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca Israel, The Israel Diabetes Association, Strauss, Atid - The Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists in Israel, Menta, Yavne Municipality, Eilat Municipality, D-Cure: Advancing Diabetes Care to Cure, Merk and more.

Mission and Objectives: 

Our Mission
To revolutionize the approach to health and lifestyle nationwide, in every city and for every individual. To raise awareness, improve understanding about lifestyle choices, and implement concrete programs in government, municipal leadership, schools, and workplaces. To use “health-supportive environments” for long-term, cross-cultural change.

Our Objectives

  1. Focus on health in personal and group environments (schools, workplaces, community centers etc.)
  2.  Adaptability to specific high-risk populations for a new nationwide approach to health.
  3.  Guidance for government and lay leadership for far-reaching and long-term change.
  4.  Awareness campaigns about the need to fight the obesity and diabetes epidemics in Israel.
Main Projects / Activities: 
  • City Health Culture. We put “healthy lifestyle” on city agendas for the long term. We partner with cities (Ashdod, Nazareth, Rahat, Tel Aviv, and more) to create and fund a new municipal official: city health director. Together, we identify and meet the practical and cultural health needs of the city (jogging paths, water fountains, socioeconomic and language accessibility. Programs in homes, schools, workplaces, parks, and more make healthy living natural. Our initial input transforms the city’s health culture, it precipitates momentum that will impact Israelis far into the future.
  • Women’s Health in Arab Communities. 50% of Arab and Bedouin women over 60 have diabetes. In 2016, we piloted an educational and health leadership program for 40 women in Rahat and Nazareth. The women joined workshops about health and health leadership, implementing health-supportive environments in homes, schools, and community centers.
  • Diabetes Awareness in the Ethiopian Community. Many first-generation Ethiopian immigrants (adults, elderly) struggle with Hebrew. They cannot access our mainstream awareness/prevention campaigns. We aim to produce a 4-part television feature on diabetes in Amaharic (Ethiopian language). The feature will air on Israel’s Ethiopian TV channel, and reach thousands of homes.
  • Ultra-Orthodox Awareness and Environments. Our culture-specific programs create concrete awareness and lifestyle change in the ultra-Orthodox community. Attention to cultural norms (separate programs for men and women, culture-specific communication) has impacted over 1,000 ultra-Orthodox children, teens, and adults to date. With our guidance, mothers and teens now implement health-supportive environments in homes, schools, and community centers.
  • Workplaces. Awareness and programs in the workplace create health-supportive daytime environments for adults. Long workdays make office health patterns crucial for individual and family health. To date, together with 15 businesses and municipalities (police forces, fire departments) – and with demand for more – we bring lifestyle awareness and improvement to thousands of Israeli adults.
How can you contribute to the Network in your country?: 

The prevalence of obesity and diabetes is rising throughout the western world at a rate so high that the World Health Organization officially defines them as epidemics – the only non-viral epidemics. The increase in obesity and diabetes cross socioeconomic, cultural, and age without regard to level of education or financial means. 500,000 Israelis are diagnosed with diabetes. It is estimated that 500,000 more live with the disease, though undiagnosed.

Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the healthiest and safest ways to prevent diabetes and obesity, and to reduce redundant, unhealthy weight. Along with attention to risk factors like smoking, people who lead healthy lifestyles benefit from better long-term health, lower stress levels, and a sense of control and fulfillment in daily life, at home, and work.