OK Kosher Certification is one of the world’s most respected symbols of kosher approval
Founded in 1935, the OK Kosher Certification (the OK) won international regard under the leadership of kosher food pioneer Rabbi Berel Levy. As the demand for kosher products continues its rapid growth, food companies are increasingly turning to the OK for its kosher needs. Today, among the world’s most respected kosher symbols, the OK has established a sterling reputation with uncompromising integrity.
With more than 10 million consumers seeking kosher products in the United States alone, the OK has attracted such food giants and products as Kraft, ConAgra, Keebler, Snapple and Perrier. Companies recognize the OK’s proprietary kosher technology as cutting edge, enabling superior customer service. With more than 350 of the world’s leading kosher experts operating on six continents, the OK has emerged as the acknowledged trailblazer in the industry - establishing the standards for kosher in the United States, Europe and the Orient.
Under Rabbi Berel Levy, characterized by the New York Times as “both a spiritual leader and a man who readily understands what food processing is all about” the OK reached global recognition in the late 1960’s. Revolutionizing the methods employed by kosher certifying agencies to verify the nature of products, Rabbi Levy won the respect and admiration of manufacturers and kosher consumers everywhere and raised the prestige of the kosher symbol.
In 1977, Rabbi Levy called on his son, Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, to help expand the reach of the OK. Viewing this as an opportunity to serve the world community through furthering the cause of kosher, Don Yoel readily answered his father’s call.
Rabbi Don Yoel Levy assumed the leadership role in 1987. Renowned for his vast scholarship and unshakeable principles, Rabbi Levy successfully guides the OK’s development in an era of technological advances and soaring demand for kosher food worldwide. Over time, consumers have come to equate the OK symbol with elite kosher standards and the name “Don Yoel Levy” with all that is strictly kosher.
Technology = #1 in Customer Service
One of the keys to the success of the OK has been its technology. The KCert system has taken the food industry by storm. Maintaining a growing database on approximately 700,000 kosher products, the system enables the OK to track the kosher status of products and ingredients, information on formulas and manufacturing plants, and the effective dates of each kosher certification for each ingredient. With this constantly updated information readily available, the OK provides unparalleled customer service. Responses to ingredient and formula approval requests are usually issued within 24 hours and impending problems are quickly isolated and solved, avoiding the need to audit a client’s entire ingredient list.
The OK does more than simply certify products as kosher. It actively and directly promotes the appreciation and observance of kosher laws and attitudes.
Through its affiliate, the Kosher Spirit, a quarterly publication, the OK provides articles by scholars and lay observers with reflections, stories, analyses and kosher alerts, promoting the appreciation and practice of kosher. The publication has a circulation of more than a quarter million homes and institutions worldwide.
Public Information and Forums
The OK organizes and conducts conferences to promote “kosher”. The broadly attended conferences update the professional staff of findings in new ingredients and imports, and alerts consumers and manufacturers to products that require kosher supervision. The aim is a heightened public awareness of kosher issues and promoting conformity to acceptable Jewish standards of kosher, irrespective of particular certification labels and trademarks.
The OK regularly sponsors special sections and sponsored advertisements in the Anglo Jewish press on kosher and kosher-related topics. It regularly acts as a source to local and national radio talk shows providing knowledgeable personnel to discuss kosher and its application to the food industry
Children’s Program and Museum
The OK’s most recent undertaking in the area of kosher education is its active sponsorship and participation in the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, New York. The museum, the largest children’s museum of Jewish issues, was created as a “hands on” museum focused on Jewish interests. One of the permanent exhibits is the kosher section, sponsored and actively managed by the OK. In this section, children become sensitive to kosher symbols and the need for awareness in any ordinary food shopping trip. The children also learn to operate an actual kosher kitchen, experiencing the preparation of food and the maintenance of kosher utensils and kosher equipment.
"A fair amount of adult non-Jewish customers value the kosher certification and look for it," says Scott Bussen, a spokesman for Miller Lite, which recently added visible OK kosher certification to its cans and bottles. -THE WALL STREET JOURNAL