Diana Shimoni is JDC-ESHEL’s Deputy Executive Director and is in charge of Planning and Development. In this capacity, Diana directs and coordinates ESHEL’s strategic and yearly planning; research & evaluation, training and organizational learning processes.
Prior to her current position, Diana served 3 years as the COO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
Diana joined JDC in 1992, as part of the JDC-FSU team, serving in various positions. In 1995 Diana relocated to Moscow as JDC representative.
On her return to Israel, Diana joined ELKA, JDC’s Division for Voluntarism and Philanthropy, and Training and Development unit for Senior Officials in Israel’s Public Service. She served there for 10 years and her last position was Philanthropy Area Head.
Diana volunteers as a board member at Paamonim – an NGO acting to improve financial behavior of struggling families in Israel.
Diana earned her M.A. in Business Administration at the Hebrew University. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children.
Preparing local authorities, municipalities, and local governments for 100 years of life
Tal levy is Data & Research referent at JDC Eshel. Responsible for research and data regarding the course of age-friendly cities and the course of belonging and participation in Eshel. Tal works with management, research, institutes, and field experts to instill impact-oriented and data-driven decision-making tools and processes and support strategic research planning and application. Previously he served as Economist at the Ministry of Finance and consultant to culture and Sports. He has B.A. from the PPE program, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Diana Shimoni, JDC-Eshel, Israel
Tal Levy, JDC-Eshel, Israel
The life environment a person acts and moves in has a direct link to their ability to function. Each living space allows us accessibility to different abilities /options: we exercise and visit our family doctor in our neighborhood space, buy provisions and visit a specialist in our city space, enjoy leisure activities and culture in the metropolitan space and enjoy spending time or walking in the rural space. The level of our functionality dictates our ability to easily reach each living space and get from it what we need and want. The more these life spaces are accessible to us, the more we can utilize and preserve our functional abilities. Thus, the importance of the mutual connection, between our functionality and the living spaces surrounding us, is crucial to our optimal aging.
With the advancement of the years our living spaces decrease. The ability to drive independently may be impaired, the dangers of using public transport become more of an inhibiting factor in a person’s life, the ability to walk and spend time outdoor independently decreases. Thus, spaces in proximity become increasingly more meaningful and essential, in a person’s life. When these spaces are not adaptable to the needs and obstructions of aging, a “vicious” correlation is created between a persons’ functional level, and the narrowing of their living spaces – where the ability to age optimally continually decreases.
Research shows that mobility is one of the main predictive data points for our quality of life. An older adult’s mobility in space is the interaction between his/her ability and environmental conditions. When a person’s ability is high, and their environment is suitable and accessible (offers a variety of options for physical and social activities) then there are optimal conditions to provide an incentive to enhance behaviors that encourage successful aging. On the other hand, if the older adult’s abilities decrease (limited functionality) – minimizing the environmental pressures and obstacles may help preserve their functionality and gain more control over their life.
The local authority is solely responsible for the convenience and safety of moving in the public sphere, it is responsible for: parks, walkways, bicycle lanes, it plans and funds public transportation and many public building and functions. We see that the local authority is in possession of significant tools to design the citizens surrounding space and advance their mobility. We must adjust the space controlled by the local government to suit the unique needs of the elderly: remove obstacles, advance proximity, and increase accessibility of most of the services provided to the entire population.
This shift will focus on developing an operative model for a local authority that advances successful aging through identifying the tools and means to develop solutions that respond to the unique needs of the elderly, removing obstacles and making the spaces accessible to them.
In the conference we will present our approach to developing an Age Friendly City municipal model and its impact on our strategic plan.