Lev LaLev Orphanage Scam Leaves Asian Donors Distraught
Arab Palestine operatives and Palestine supporters have persecuted the Ong family for years. A diaspora Chinese family located in the south of Malaysia near Singapore, the Ong family counts Patrick Chin-kok Ong and Victor Yong Jen Ong as its most public of Israel advocates. Patrick worked for a Jewish real estate development firm in the 1960s, and he was marginalized by radical Muslims for decades after.
The Ong family, classical Chinese and frugal by habit, lives simply and sets aside precious savings for educational pursuits and medical emergencies, in a southeastern Asian country that does not possess national healthcare coverage. Malaysia is hot and humid, and subsists as a tropical nation heavily defined by racial differences between the Muslim Malays and Chinese non-Muslims. The Malays are famously pro-Palestine, while the Chinese are by and large pro-Israel, even if quietly.
In 1998, Patrick was transfused a hepatic virus by a Muslim blood bank technician, thereby guaranteeing his slow but painful decline in health over the next 18 years, till his passing in 2016.
In the summer of 2020, a major Jewish charity in Israel—the Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage—decided to reach out with a request to build a pet center for Jewish youth to honor the late Patrick Ong. The Lev LaLev Director of Development Chavi Weiss was very clear about the permanent yahrzeit qualities of this beautiful endeavor, and the perpetual benefit this pet center will prove to be for one hundred and twenty disadvantaged Jewish girls.
Situated at number 9, Bene Yissakhar Street, in the Kiryat Sanz district of Netanya city, the orphanage was breathtaking to behold, and Weiss showed Victor via webcam as to the eventual placement of the pet center at this orphanage campus. She proceeded to collect thirty thousand United States dollars from Victor, equivalent to about a hundred thousand shekels, for the purposes of building and naming the center.
By August of 2021, Weiss had raised more than USD55,000 from Victor, who had been making his monetary transfers to Lev LaLev from his home city of Johor Bahru in Malaysia. Due to the lockdown policies of various governments throughout the world in the fight against coronavirus, Victor could not, and did not fly to the Mediterranean. He had effectively given to Lev LaLev by distance, without gaining a chance to first meet the organization in person. Lev LaLev's massive gains—now totalling a near quarter-million ringgit in Malaysian money—signified the immense faith and trust Victor invested in this Jewish orphanage.
Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage received these monies to put toward Jewish weddings for disadvantaged couples, excursions and projects for the Lev LaLev girls, and the pet center which was designed to provide therapeutic healing for the girls.
Lev LaLev went off-the-grid after August of 2021. The Lev LaLev 'team' became uncontactable, supplied no situation progress, and gave no financial accountability of any kind. Victor and the Ong family became perplexed, and began to extend preliminary research, at once discovering that the Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage possessed multiple permutations of name:
1. Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage
2. Lev LaLev Orphanage, Netanya, Israel
3. Lev LaLev Israel Girls Orphanage
4. Lev LaLev Children's Home
The truth quickly unfolded after that. The Lev LaLev Orphanage does not exist in any or all of its forms. It has no site, no real estate property, no land rights for orphanage development, and—by far the most important point—no disadvantaged Jewish girls.
Instead, the Donald Berman Bayit v'Tikvah House of Hope is the actual orphanage at number 9, Bene Yissakhar Street. The girls sheltered there are House of Hope girls. These girls know Lev LaLev only as an external entity that intermittently visits the House of Hope with meager gifts and shoddy presents.
Lev LaLev's bold-faced misrepresentations are straight-up lies. Lev LaLev was not created in 1962, and was never founded by the Klausenberg Sanz Rebbe. Lev LaLev in all its permutations is in no way related to the Sanz rabbinic dynasty, and does not possess a long legacy of kindness. A rudimentary search suggests the Lev LaLev idea was created in or about 2009, and has operated since as a largely online operation.
In addition to using the Bene Yissakhar campus as a storefront for its online trickery, and portraying itself as the Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage, the Lev LaLev staff is small—literally a shoestring operation—that comprises Weiss and one or two accomplices. Due to the fact Lev LaLev is not a real orphanage, no Lev LaLev staff cares onsite for Jewish girls. Weiss herself is likely not even a resident of the city of Netanya.
The vivid marketing that states that children "walk through the doors of Lev LaLev" at "its facility in Netanya", and "are brought to Lev LaLev", so that the Lev LaLev staff "addresses every child's most immediate needs, providing her" with warmth and nourishment, and that there are girls who come home to Lev LaLev from school—these are absolutely false. There is no Lev LaLev door to come through, nor a Lev LaLev facility to come home to. Audacious in its claims, Lev LaLev's "beautiful Netanya campus, nestled in Israel's Northern Central region" is literally a different orphanage: the Donald Berman House of Hope, swindled by Lev LaLev for deceitful marketing purposes and glitzy photographic portrayals.
As the facts tumbled out, Victor and the Ong family began to understand there was no way a pet center could be built in an existing orphanage by another orphanage that wasn't even an orphanage. Newly aware that there is no refuge for Jewish girls known as Lev LaLev, nor a "safe place" by the name of Lev LaLev Children's Home in all of Israel, much less Netanya, Victor has turned to dozens of Jewish press outlets for help in exposing the Lev LaLev scam.
None responded, save one: the Jewish Forward, which explored the case briefly and went into email silence.
Wrecked by anguish, the Ong family sank into despair—mostly because real Jews had used Patrick's death as a way to scam his son of life savings. Victor is crushed by the utter inhumanity of Lev LaLev's deceit. The author of two pro-Israel books, Victor is also a contributor to the Israel Affairs academic journal, and has been an openly public Zionist for many years in a Muslim-majority Malaysia, where today he is dismayed by the lack of Israel-Malaysia cooperation in the face of such egregious moral and financial crime, perpetrated by the fraudulent Lev LaLev organization.
In the Second World War, Axis powers Germany and Japan conducted systematic massacres to exterminate huge numbers of Jews and Chinese, and this common experience has engendered a notable Chinese fervor, particularly among civilians, for the State of Israel, the Jewish people in general, and Jewish cultural revival. Chinese people are deeply enamored with Jewish civilization and nationhood, and no matter the politics, the overwhelming position of Chinese folks in China and the diaspora communities is that the Jewish people are to be greatly favored in the Chinese regard.
Therefore it has come as a blow to the Ongs in Malaysia, that the Lev LaLev organization—a top-level Jewish charity with unencumbered access to all aspects of Israeli Jewish life, and heavily featured among first results on Google searches—has surged forth to scam Chinese Orientals of precious life savings, when these innocent and sweetly deferential Asians are some of the most ardent and loyal friends of Israel. The impact of Lev LaLev's elaborate con is far-reaching, and signifies a disdain for human life in the way it took advantage of the dead, a disregard for the sacrifices of a thrifty Asian family, and a betrayal that speaks louder than the words in Lev LaLev's glossy brochures: the Jews of Lev LaLev do not care about Chinese suffering, historical or contemporary, and the Chinese devotion to Zionism is useful to Lev LaLev only as an ingress for Weiss to take money from Chinese folk.
Original reporting undertaken February 28, 2022
Gallery — The Lev LaLev Scam
Blatant lies form the basis of how Asian donors have fallen victim to Lev LaLev. Here the Lev LaLev audacity stakes a claim in a 1962 foundation year as well as Netanya facilities and caring staff,—strange for an organization with no orphan-care staff and no campus in Netanya or anywhere else.
Buttressed by lies of its own make, Lev LaLev has raised massive amounts of funding, despite not having a campus and no disadvantaged girls to tend to.
Dozens of Lev LaLev issuances assure the gullible donor that there is a Lev LaLev Children's Home or Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage somewhere in the city of Netanya, coastal Israel.
Lev LaLev's Chavi Weiss, Director of Development of the Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage (Posing as an orphanage in Kiryat Sanz, Netanya, she reached out to an Asian donor for funds. With her claims of building and naming a pet center for the donor's late father, she has since disappeared from correspondence and absconded with USD55,000,—equivalent to about one hundred and ninety thousand shekels.)
One of the portrayals made by Lev LaLev of a so-called Lev LaLev Orphanage in Netanya, Israel. The truth is much simpler: this is not the Lev LaLev Orphanage. There is no Lev LaLev Orphanage. Instead, this image is that of the Bayit v'Tikvah House of Hope in Netanya, Israel.
Still of a Purim greeting video from the 'Lev LaLev orphanage' (The national emblem of the State of Israel is visible. Lev LaLev often portrays the national emblem in its photos and videos, in order to con donors into giving money.)
The Donald Berman Bayit v'Tikvah House of Hope is used by Lev LaLev and Lev LaLev's Chavi Weiss to portray a Sanz Rebbe establishment by the name of Lev LaLev Israel Girls Orphanage, with a glorious founding in 1962.
Failure of an illusion,—a few sticks of wood and bits and pieces, for a whopping USD55,000 (There is literally a stray shopping cart parked in the animal pen. This structure and the rest of the orphanage campus are not Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage at all.)
This is the animal pen at Bayit v'Tikvah, filmed by Lev LaLev and repurposed as so-called evidence of a one hundred thousand shekel 'pet center.'
These are the Jewish girls of the Bayit v'Tikvah House of Hope, and this is the Bayit v'Tikvah House of Hope campus,—not Lev LaLev Girls Orphanage. There is no Lev LaLev Children's Home, no Lev LaLev orphanage, and no Lev LaLev Israel Girls Orphanage.
Gallery — Victims
One of the victims of the Lev LaLev scam (With immense love for Israel and the Jews, Asian donors contributed life savings to Lev LaLev. This is Victor Yong Jen Ong with a tape-repaired eyeglass and a wounded hand without hospital treatment.)
The Malaysian Chinese (22% of Malaysia's citizens) are by and large frugal, thrifty, and of limited means, and live simply.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia (Malay Muslims and Malaysian Chinese comprise large sections of Malaysia's lower middle-income and working-class populations.)
A major Malaysian Chinese neighborhood, Johor Bahru, Malaysia (This neighborhood is typical of the various Malaysian Chinese areas in Malaysia.)