A love for Israel and the Jewish people spanning fifty years
Last year we were fortunate to be able to complete a pet therapy center for our girls. This center was sponsored by Victor J. Ong in loving memory of his father Patrick Ong. Victor has a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people and so he shared a little bit more about the history of this deep connection that he feels.
In Malaysia, Patrick Chin-kok Ong worked for Meyers International—a Jewish family real estate firm—in the 1970s, which fell unexpectedly on hard times when antisemitism began to take over the country. When Jewish businesses were pushed out of Malaysia and Singapore, and the Arabs prepared to war against Israel, Patrick Ong remained undaunted, and strove to put life back together again.
Decades later, Victor Yong-jen Ong has come forward to honor Patrick’s legacy as a home renovator and chartered surveyor with a $55,000 contribution to the Jewish girls’ residence in Netanya funded by Lev LaLev. Part of the funding is used to build and upkeep a pet therapy center for Jewish youth, who will benefit from the solace and comfort provided by the animals and specialist therapists.
“My father raised his children with Jewish stories and particularly his experiences with Meyers, and the predicament and struggle of the Jewish people to survive,” Victor Ong says, “Dad was heavily bullied and persecuted for his devotions, but he was only to become more fervent, and instilled very early on in me the full account of the extent of Jewish suffering.”
When Meyers International joined republican Chinese in eastern Asia for land and housing development projects, the endeavor was quickly thwarted by radicals and communist Chinese. Not long after, the Yom Kippur War broke out, and Israel was attacked by a coalition of Arab and Soviet forces.
“Israel is extremely personal to me,” Victor insists, “A nation, or a people, is irrelevant to you unless you fall in love with them. My father never had much and never pampered himself, and was always frugal, and still he sent me to Harvard and Australia. This is why the Patrick Ong Pet Center and other projects for the girls of Netanya express what we are as the Ong family. The educational lives of the Jewish girls mean the world to us.”
Patrick Ong passed away in 2016. The sums transferred to Lev LaLev by his son Victor are significant especially from an Asian point of view, where four cars or a terrace house can be procured for less.
Victor muses, “My Jewish friends have asked why I sacrifice like that during Covid times. I ask in return, ‘Why not?’ The smiles and exuberant joy of the girls at Netanya… this is deeply meaningful to me!” Victor has his share of troubles back in Malaysia as well. For his dedication to Israel, he has even received death threats and other forms of sabotage.
“I am worried and feel very alone sometimes, but the happinesses of the Jewish girls keep me going,” he says. Ong has given to several Jewish organizations, but he feels a unique affinity for Lev LaLev, mostly “because I’m still a kid,” he continues, despite being 34, “or rather, that my best times were as a kid, tended to by a nurturing and righteous father, who taught me everything about the Maker, about life and loyalty, and about the destiny of the Jewish people.”
To make a donation to support Israeli Orphan girls, please visit www.levlalev.com/donate