Rabbi Bernard (Berel) Levy grew up in the 1920s, outside of New York City. He attended the Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and later studied at the famed Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Otwock, Poland.
After his studies, his initial work with Torah Umesorah brought him into close contact with many luminaries in Orthodox Jewry. His spiritual leader, The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi M.M. Schneerson, would speak to him for hours concerning educational issues in America. He served as an unofficial conduit between the Rebbe and Rabbi Aaron Kotler. He also had many conversations with the previous Satmar Rebbe and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein whom he later consulted on various kosher issues.
In 1965, Rabbi Levy took over OK Kosher Certification. He became a pioneer in his field, shaking up the kosher world by examining the complete factory process, examining the chemistry of ingredients and traveling to exotic countries overseas to check ingredients.
Before the age of computers, Rabbi Berel Levy’s head worked like a computer. After he passed away, someone approached his wife Thelma and said, “If only I could have been in his head for a few minutes to marvel at all that was contained in there.” He knew all the companies and ingredients used in each company. Today the OK utilizes the most sophisticated computer equipment to document each ingredient and each product for every company we certify, ensuring the highest standard of kashrus.
Rabbi Berel Levy left behind an incredible legacy of organized, high quality kosher supervision for the Jewish consumer. This legacy continues with OK Kosher Certification today.