Communal charities have launched their festive Pesach appeals, writes Fiona Leckerman.

World Jewish Relief has set up a Food Cards Programme in Ukraine. Money raised over Pesach will enable up to 16,000 vulnerable elderly and disabled individuals from poverty-stricken areas access to food they need to survive. The scheme spans 34 programmes in Ukraine, offering individuals food cards. £12 provides a card that can be topped up monthly.

Meanwhile, Magen David Adom UK’s Saving Lives Across the World appeal hopes to supply £250,000 of pharmaceuticals to the Philippines. For every £1 donated, MDA UK will provide £20 worth of lifes-saving drugs. These funds will help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan to be treated for illnesses.

MDA UK’s Daniel Burger said: “In the aftermath of the typhoon, we sent a delegation to the Philippines. Following on from feedback, we are now appealing for medical aid to the typhoon-battered country.”

Elsewhere, MANNA, the new name for the UK branch of Meir Panim, is calling on the community to buy a Pesach Food Shopping Card for £36 to help support impoverished families in Israel.

Executive director Gaby Blauer said: “The problem is not the availability of the food but rather the money to pay for it. More than 1.7 million Israelis live in poverty – that’s almost 25 percent of the population.

“It’s a side of Israel that most of us never get to see.”