Our Ongoing Story
For centuries, kosher consumers ate home-cooked meals, prepared with fresh food from the trusted butcher, baker, fisherman and farmer.
In the 20th century, self-serve grocery chains sprang up across the United States. With the rapid industrialization of America’s food supply, products made in factories hundreds of miles from home appeared on store shelves. What and whom could the kosher customer trust?
1935: A New York food chemist pioneers kosher certification.
Mr. Abraham Goldstein recognized the need and founded Organized Kashrut Laboratories (OK Labs). With a strict adherence to Jewish law and a solid grounding in food chemistry, Mr. Goldstein’s kosher certification introduced a new standard of trust between food makers and consumers.
1968: Rabbi Berel Levy takes kosher on the road.
Over the next three decades, the food industry expanded in every direction. Additives, preservatives and flavorings began arriving from the Far East, Europe and around the world. Products made across the street used ingredients from across the globe.
In 1968, Rabbi Bernard “Berel” Levy, a graduate of New York’s finest rabbinical school and a visionary businessman, assumed the leadership of the OK. Building on a proud tradition of innovation, Rabbi Levy set out to bridge the information gaps on the journey from global manufacturing plants to your family’s table.
He began to follow ingredients all the way up the chain, landing in Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Indonesia and beyond. He consolidated nearly a dozen regional kosher certification systems and continued to forge a reputation for integrity, service and trust. For the first time, consumers and manufacturers could know the kosher status of even trace ingredients such as ascorbic acid and MSG.
Today: The future is here.
Rabbi Berel Levy passed away in 1987. His son Rabbi Don Yoel Levy succeeded him at the helm of OK Kosher, leading a team of highly-skilled and highly-trained on-site supervisors who ensure the highest standards of compliance tailored to each manufacturer’s plant operation.
Under Rabbi Don Yoel’s leadership, OK Kosher continues to lead the kosher food industry with knowledge, efficiency and dependability. In addition to giving Kosher Certification, the OK actively promotes education and observance of kosher laws and attitudes.
Rabbi Levy and his team continued to innovate. They tackled the problem of contamination during shipment by inventing a tracking and sealing system still in use today. They invested heavily in a comprehensive database for internal and client use that is recognized as the most advanced of its kind.
Our headquarters in New York and regional offices in Europe, China, Israel, Mexico, India, and Russia follow the evolving industries and products we supervise and certify.
At OK Kosher, we know that consumers depend on us to know the real story behind the kosher food they eat and the people who make it. We work every day to continue earning that trust.