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 establishing the Torah Umesorah Day School system brought him into close contact with many luminaries in Orthodox Jewry.
In 1965, Rabbi Levy took possession of OK Kosher Certification. He became a pioneer in the field, shaking up the kosher world by examining complete factory processes and the chemistry of ingredients, and traveling to any and all countries overseas to check out raw materials.
Before the age of computers, Rabbi Berel Levy’s head worked like a computer. After he passed away, someone approached his wife Mrs. Thelma Levy 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 facility. Today the OK uses sophisticated software to document each ingredient and product for every company we certify, ensuring the highest standard of kosher available.
Rabbi Berel Levy left behind an incredible legacy of organized, high quality kosher supervision for the Jewish consumer. His leadership was transferred to his son Rabbi Don Yoel Levy upon his passing in 1987. Since Rabbi Don Yoel’s untimely passing in 2020, this combined legacy continues today with the OK Kosher Certification Board of Trustees and Executive Rabbinical Council.