Kosher Investigator: How Rabbi Berel Levy Built the OK and Transformed the World of Kosher Supervision
Written by: Dovid Zaklikowski, of Hasidic Archives
Even as a young child, Berel Levy was determined and fearless in the pursuit of his goals. From the home of his uncle, “the Malach,” to the Lubavitch yeshivah in Otwock, Poland, he followed his dream of studying Torah, despite his parents’ disapproval and the looming clouds of World War II. In the halls of Torah Umesorah and the clandestine Jewish schools of the Soviet Union, he bolstered Jewish education and observance in the face of political opposition and an oppressive Communist regime. Perhaps most remarkably, as the head of the Organized Kashrus Laboratories, he forever changed the world of kosher supervision. Rabbi Levy’s life story is told for the first time in these pages.
“Kosher Investigator pays honor to a founding father of modern industrial kosher certification. Rabbi Berel Levy’s passionate commitment to yiddishkeit and his keen powers of investigation helped transform the American kosher certification system into a model of reliable private regulation.”
– Professor Timothy D. Lytton, author of Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food
“Kosher Investigator beautifully captures Rabbi Berel Levy’s remarkable contributions to kosher food – and, more generally, to Judaism. A skilled investigator himself, author Dovid Zaklikowski draws on oral interviews, obscure printed sources, and Rabbi Levy’s previously unknown personal papers to provide a revelatory account of his life. Written with great sympathy – and not shying away from controversial topics – this carefully researched book is a page-turner that readers will thoroughly enjoy.”
– Dr. Roger Horowitz, author of Kosher USA: How Coke became kosher and other tales of modern food