At the helm of the world’s most prestigious kosher agency, the OK Kosher Certification, one could always find Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, of blessed memory, hard at work. In his time, Rabbi Levy was considered by many to be the foremost personality in the kosher world.
Rabbi Levy was renowned for his vast scholarship and unshakeable principles, coupled with an impassioned desire to inspire the kosher industry to strive for ever higher standards. Over time, the name “Don Yoel Levy” became synonymous with all that is strictly kosher.
Rabbi Levy studied at the Philadelphia Talmudical Yeshiva and later at the Yeshiva in Kfar Chabad, Israel and received his rabbinic ordination from three of the Jewish world’s most revered figures, among them the esteemed Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. Subsequently, he immersed himself in advanced Torah study for seven years.
In 1965, Rabbi Don Yoel’s father, Rabbi Berel Levy, purchased OK Kosher Certification, at the time a minor agency, from George Goldstein. In a little over a decade, Rabbi Berel had succeeded in building the OK into a formidable force and leader on the kosher scene. To help him further develop his organization, Berel Levy turned to his talented and learned son Rabbi Don Yoel.
For a ten-year period, Don Yoel worked under the tutelage of his famous father; soaking in the vast quantity of knowledge and guidance shown to him. Upon Rabbi Berel Levy’s untimely passing in 1987, Rabbi Don Yoel assumed leadership of OK Kosher Certification. During this time, OK Kosher Certification emerged as the acknowledged trailblazer for the entire kosher industry, establishing the benchmark for kosher standards in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Rabbi Levy has guided the agency’s development in a new era of global economic growth and advances in technology, amid soaring demand for kosher food worldwide. During his leadership, he comprehensively trained and mentored the world’s most professional and knowledgeable team of kosher experts; the OK Kosher Rabbinic Coordinators.
Sadly, Rabbi Levy passed away in the spring of 2020. His appointed, devoted Board of Trustees subsequently established the OK Kashrus Vaad in accordance with Rabbi Levy’s instruction. Consisting of four of his most qualified and trusted Rabbinic Coordinators, the Vaad is now in place to further all of Rabbi Levy’s kosher standards and policies on which the OK has always proudly stood.
The Board of Trustees, Kashrus Vaad, as well as the entire OK Kosher organization, continue toward the shared goal of living up to Rabbi Levy’s legacy in running OK Kosher.