Reliable Certifications

Below are some Kashrus certifications KosherQuest recommends catagorized by country. If you have a question on a symbol not listed below, feel free to ask. Click here to download printable PDF and here to download a printable card.

United States of America

 Alaska
Alaska kosher-Chabad of Alaska   Congregation Shomrei Ohr
1117 East 35th Avenue
Anchorage, Ak 99508
Tel: (907) 279-1200
Fax: (907) 279-7890
E-mail: info@alaskajewishcampus.org

Website: www.lubavitchjewishcenter.org
Rabbi Yosef Greenberg


Arizona


Congregation Chofetz Chayim
Southwest Torah Institute
Rabbi Israel Becker

5150 E. Fifth St.
Tuscon, AZ 85711
Cell: (520) 747-7780
Fax: (520) 745-6325
E-mail: yzbecker@me.com


Arizona K
2110 East Lincoln Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Tel: (602) 944-2753
Cell: (602) 540-5612
Fax: (602) 749-1131

E-mail: chabadaz@cox.net

Web: www.chabadaz.com
Rabbi Zalman levertov, Kashrus Administrator

Chabad of Scottsdale - Scottsdale, AZ Chabad of Scottsdale
10215 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Tel: (480) 998-1410
E-mail: chabadscottsdale@gmail.com, chabadscottsdale@aol.com

Website: www.chabadofscottsdale.org
Rabbi Yossi Levertov, Director
Certifies: The Scottsdale Cafe Deli & Market
Congregation Young Israel & Chabad
2443 East Street
Tuscon, AZ 85719
Tel: (520) 326-8362, 882-9422
Fax: (520) 327-3818
E-mail: yshemtov@aol.com

Website: www.chabadoftuscon.com
Rabbi Yossie Y. Shemtov
Certifies: Fifth Street Kosher Deli & Market, Oy Vey Cafe
                        


California

Central California Kosher (CCK)
Chabad of Fresno

1227 East Shepherd Ave.
Fresno,
CA 93720
Tel: (559) 435-2770, 351-2222
Fax: (559) 435-0554
E-mail: Chabadfresno@sbcglobal.net
Web: www.chabadfresno.com
Rabbi Levy I. Zirkind, Rabbinic Adiministrator
Regional Agency, founded in 1990
Certifies: Seloh Wine by Kesser Winery
Rabbi Aharon Simkin
Young Israel of Northridge

17511 Devonshire Street
Norhtridge, CA 91325
Tel: (818) 368-2254
Fax: (480) 393-5394
E-mail: kosher@mac.com
Website: www.yion.org
Certifies: Unique Bakery and Cafe, Touro University Food Services, Vallejo, CA

Kosher Certification of America- KCA Kosher
PO Box 515381 #30965
LOS ANGELES, CA 90051-6681
Other Address
30557 Canwood Street
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Tel/Fax: 1-877-770-KOSHER (5674)
Cell: (818) 371-6386

Email: kcakosher@gmail.com
info@kcakosher.com

Web: www.kcakosher.com
Rabbi Amiram Markel, Kashrus Administrator

Rabbi Baruch Lederman
Congregation Kehillas Torah
14133 Via Alisal
San Diego, CA 92128
Tel: (858) 613-0222
Email: RBL@Kehillastorah.org
Web: www.kehillastorah.org

Companies Include: Some Carvels in San Diego & Cold Stone Creamery in San Marcos
KOAOA-Kosher OverseersO(Half Moon K)
Founded in 1910
Now a division of the Union of the Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America ("OU")
See "OU" in Manhattan, NY
Kosher Certification Service Kosher Certification Service
401 North Laurel Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: (323) 782-1433
Fax: (480) 651-0660
Email: kcs@easy-access.com
Web: www.easy-access.com/kcs

Rabbi Eli Frankel, Rabbinic Administrator
Rabbi Dr. Micheal Schick,Kashrus Consultant
International Agency, founded in 1989

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KOF-K Los Angeles
516 N. Citrus Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 933-3919
Rabbi Shaya Eichenblatt
[Main Office in New Jersey]
   
         
                
Kehilla Kosher
(Igud Hakashrus of Los Angeles)

345 North La Brea Ave
Suite 204
Tel: (323) 935-8383
Fax: (480) 393-4655
Email: office@kehillakosher.org
mail@kehillakosher.org
Web: www.kehillakosher.org

Rabbi Avraham Teichman, Rav Hamachshir
Irvine Vaad Hakashrus ("IVK")
3900 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
Tel: (949) 786-5230
Fax: (949) 786-5371
Email: rabbic@bethjacobirvine.org
Web: www.bethjacobirvine.org

Rabbi Yisroel Cliner, Rabbinic Administrator
Amram Steve Phelps, Kashrus Administrator
/Director
Certifies: Blueberry Hill @ the J
Chabad of the Conejo
Chabad of Agoura Hills

30345 Canwood Street
Agoura Hills, CA  91301
Tel: (818) 991-0991
Fax: (818) 707-1190
Email:rabbibryski@chabadofconejo.com
Web: www.chabadofconejo.com

Rabbi Moshe D. Bryski, Director
Certifies: Pizza Nosh
       
Beis Din of San Jose, Chabad of Greater South Bay
3070 Louis Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Tel: (650) 493-3425
E-mail: chabad@Jewish.org
Web: www.chabadgsb.com
Rabbi Yosef Levin, Executive Director

 

 ksa


Kosher Supervision of America – KSA
PO Box 35721 
8850 W. Pico Blvd

LOS ANGELES, CA 90035

Tel: (310) 282-0444
Cell: (310) 331-7955
Fax: (310) 282-0505

Web: www.ksakosher.com
Email: info@ksakosher.com
Rabbilisbon@ksakosher.com
Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon, Kashrus Administrator

 (Kehillah Kosher) THE HEART "K"
345 NORTH LA BREA AVENUE – SUITE #204
LOS ANGELES, CA 90036

Phone: (323) 935-8383; Fax: 480-393-4655
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Avrohom Teichman
  Kosher Information Bureau
12753 Chandler Blvd.
North Hollywood, California 91607
Tel: (818) 262-5351
, 762-3197
Fax: (818) 766-8537
E
-mail: eeidlitz@kosherquest.org
Web site:www.kosherquest.org
Publication: Kashrus Conscience, a quarterly magazine, KIB Weekly Newsletter and Is It Kosher?
Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz, Rabbinic Administrator & Kosher Food Consultant
Kosher LA (KoLA)
9025 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #301
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Tel: (310) 246-3417
Fax: (310) 861-0199
email: kosherla@gmail.com
office@kosherla.org

Website: www.kosherla.org
Rabbi Moshe Benzaquen, Rav Hamachshir Rabbi Jonathan Benzaquen, Rabbinic Administrator
Companies Include: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Coffee Shops (in California, Arizona & Nevada)

 

Kosher Certification Service
401 North Laurel Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90048

Phone: (323) 782-1433; Fax: (323) 651-0660
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Eli Frankel

orange.gif (557 bytes)

Rabbinical Council of Orange County & Long Beach
(the "Orange- K") (RCOC)

3505 Lime Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807
Tel/Fax: (562) 426-4894
E-mail: rabbi@ocjewish.com
Rabbi David Eliezrie, President
Rabbi Binyomin Fajnland, Kashrus Administrator
Founded in 1994
Certifications Include: Orange County Kosher Market

Rabbinical Council of California (RCC)
3780 Wilshire Blvd., #420
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Tel: (213) 389-3382
Fax: (213) 234-4558
E-mail: info@rccvaad.org

Rabbi Nissim Davidi, Kashrus Administrator
Rabbi Yaakov Vann, Director of Kashrus
Publication: Kosher Directory
Local Agency, founded in 1967
Staff Size: 25+
Number of Companies Certified: 150+
Companies Include: Du Pont, Simplot, Huy Fong Foods- Sriracha Hot Sauce, Gill's Onions

 

Vaad Hakashrus of Northern California
Administrative Office
2223 Ward Street #B
Berkeley, CA 94705-1027
Tel: (510) 843-8223
Cell: (510) 812-7000
Fax: (510) 849-0536
Rabbinical Office
1227 East Shepherd Ave.
Fresno, CA 93720
Tel: (559) 351-2222, 453-2770
Fax: (559) 435-0554
E-mail: kosher@norcalkosher.org
vaad@flash.net
Web: www.norcalkosher.org
Rabbi Levy I. Zirkind, Rabbinic Administrator

Chabad of Fresno
Rabbi L. Zirkind
1227 E. Shepherd Ave.
Fresno Ca. 93720
Tel. 559 432 2770
Fax: 559 435 0554
Cell. 559 351 2222
CHABADFRESNO@SBCGLOBAL.NET

 

Vaad Harabanim of San Diego
8625 La Jolla Scenic Dr. North
La Jolla, CA 92037

Tel: (858) 535-1196
Cell: (619) 987-5613; 913-2696
Fax: ( 858) 535-0037
E-mail: elite@adatyeshurun.org
Web: www.adatyeshurun.org

Rabbi Jeffrey Wohlgelernter, Rabbi Avram Bogopulsky, Rabbi Moshe Leider, Rabbinic Administrator; Annette Olson, Executive Administrator; Eilite Saham, Eexecutive Assistant
Local Agency, founded in 1988
Certifies: The Place La Jolla (Meat), Cozy Cafe, Lang's Bakery, La Cafe (Dairy)

 

Colorado

Picture

The Scroll K / Vaad Hakashrus of Denver
1350 Vrain St.
Denver, CO 80204

Tel: (303) 595-9349
Fax: (303) 629-5159
E-mail: yrosskamm@scrollk.org
Web: www.scrollk.org

Rabbi Moshe Heisler, Kashrus Administrator


Connecticut

The Hartford Kashrut Commission (HKC)
20 Dover Road
West Hartford, CT 06119

Tel: (860) 236-1241
Cell: (860) 798-9555

Fax: (860) 232-8272
E-mail: rabbiy@comcast.net
Web: www.hartfordkashrut.org
www.bethdavidwh.org

Rabbi Yitzchak Adler, Rabbinic Administrator

Vaad HaKashrus of Farfield County(VKFC)
Vaad HaKashrus for Connecticut

301 Strawberry Hill Ave
Stamford, CT 06902

Tel: (203) 358-2200
Cell: (203) 358-2323

E-mail: info@vaadct.org
rabbicohen@agudathsholom.org strauchler@hotmail.com; rabbi@yistamford.org
iebbin@hotmail.com
Web: www.vaadct.org
Rabbi Daniel Cohen

United Mehadrin Kosher
(UM Kosher)

Phone: (203) 376-7241 (Rabbi Piekarski)
E-mail: rabbi@umkosher.com
Web: www.umkosher.com

Rabbinic Coordinator:  Rabbi Asher Zellingold

Florida

 

Florida Keys Kosher -FKK
Chabad of keys

908 Trinity Drive
Key West, FL 33040
Mailing Address:
321 Grinnell Street
Key West, FL 33040
Tel: (305) 295-0013
Cell: (305) 304-7713
Fax: (305) 295-0017
E-mail: chabadkeys@aol.com
Web: www.chabadkeys.com

Rabbi Rabbi Yaakov Zucker

"Diamond K" Kosher Supervisory Service
1425 SW 85th Ave
Maimi, FL 33144

Tel: (305) 264-6488
Fax: (305) 269-8780
Rabbi Zevulun Y Glixman, z"l
Central Florida Orthodox Rabbinical Vaad of Kashrus/ORV
8548 Palm Parkway
Orlando, FL 32836
Tel 407-238-7755, 465-0565
866-567-4376
Fax 407-238-6427
orlandoisus@earthlink.net
http://www.kosherorlando.com
Rabbi Oren Yachnes, Administrator
Chai Kosher Consultations and Supervisions
21326 Placida Terrace
Boca Raton, FL 33433

Tel: (305) 304-0290
E-mail: rabbifinman@chaikosher.com
Web: www.chaikosher.com
Rabbi Yisroel Finman, Administrator
  Chabad of South Orlando
Po Box 690282
7508 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819

Tel: (407) 354-3660
Fax: (877) 835-6090

E-mail: RabbiChabad@aol.com
Web: www.jewishorlando.com
Rabbi Yosef Konikov, Director
  Chabad Lubavitch of Sarasota & Manatee Counties
7700 Beneva Road
Sarasota, FL 34238

Tel: (941) 925-0770
Fax: (941) 925-0771

E-mail: rabbi@chabadofsarasota.com
Web: www.chabadofsarasota.com
Rabbi Chaim S. Steinmetz, Director
  Chabad of Pinellas County
3696 Fisher Road
Palm Harbor, FL 34683

Tel: (727) 789-0408
Fax: (727) 789-5378

E-mail: ASA18@msn.com
rabbi@yichabad.com
Web: www.yichabad.com
Rabbi sholom Adler, Director
  Chabad House Lubavitch of Palm Beach
844 Prosperity Farms Road
North Palm Beach, Fl 33408

Tel: (561) 624-7004
E-mail: chabadpb@aol.com
rsEzagui@aol.com
Web: www.chabadcenterpalmbeach.com
Rabbi Shloime Ezagui
  Chabad of Northeast Florida
10129 Haley Road
Jacksonville, Fl 32257

Tel: (904) 262-6641
Fax: (904) 880-0787

E-mail: rabbi@chabadjacksonville.org
Web: www.chabadjacksonville.org
Rabbi Yosef Kahanov
 

Chabad of Greater Daytona
1079 W. Granada Blvd.
Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Tel: (386) 672-9300
E-mail: contact@chabaddaytona.org
Web: www.chabaddaytona.org
Rabbi Pinchas Ezagui


 

Florida K and Florida Kashrus Services
Vaad HaKashrus of Orlando

708 Lake Howell Road 
Maitland, FL 32751

Tel: (407) 644-2500
Fax: (866) 379-4913
(407) 644-0545
E-mail: rabbi@flkosher.com
rabbidubov@aol.com
Web: www.flkosher.com

Rabbi Sholom B. Dubov, Executive Director

Kosher Dairy Miami
(A division of Kosher Miami)
PO BOX 403225
Miami, FL 33140
Phone 786-390-6620
Fax 305-937-2437, 437-8107
info@koshermiami.org

www.KosherMiami.org
Rabbi Moredechai Fried, Rabbinic Administrator

Kosher Miami – KM
The Vaad Hakashrus of Miami-Dade
PO Box 403225 Miami
FL 33140-1225
Tel: (786) 463-9931
Cell: (786) 390-6620
Fax: (305) 937-2437
E-mail: info@koshermiami.org
RabbiFried@koshermiami.org
Web: www.koshermiami.org
Rabbi Mordechai Fried, Rabbinic Administrator
Rabbi Meir Shaffren, Rabbinic Coordinator

Kosher Organics Council
Kosher certification for organic and natural products
Worldwide Services, FL
Symbol: The "Kosher Organics" Symbol with the "Natural" or "Organic" label.
Website:
www.kosherorganics.com
800-630-6137
Fax 305-868-6137
e-mail:
info@kosherorganics.com
Rabbi Berel Simpser : Executive Director
Rabbi Yehuda Greenberg :Director / Development, USA and Israel

Rabbi Dr. Simcha Parsons: Director / Sr. Rabbinic Coordinator

 

Maritime Kosher International (MKI)
7055 Bonita Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Tel 305-865-9851
Fax 305-866-7336
weberman@the-beach.net
Rabbi Pinchas Weberman, Rabbinic Administrator

Orthodox Rabbinical Board of Broward & Palm Beach Counties (ORB)
951 NE 167th Street, Suite 134
North Miami Beach, FL 33021
Tel 305-653-2110
Cell 305-206-1524
Fax 888-744-5254
pweitz@orbkosher.org
http://www.orbkosher.org
Rabbi Aaron A. Lieberman, Co-Founder and President
Rabbi Edward Davis, Co-Founder & President, Rav Hamachshir

Orthodox Rabbinate of North Dade ("ORD")
1870 NE 187th Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33179
Tel 305-931-6204
Cell 305-778-0051
Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Gronder, Rabbinic Administrator

 

Orthodox Rabbinate of Southwest Florida-Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida
5620 Winkler Road
Fort Myers, FL 33919
Tel 239-433-7708
Fax 239-481-9109
Rabbi@Chabadswf.org

www.Chabadswf.org
Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz, Director

RCF - Rabbinate of Central North Florida
708 Lake Howell Road
Maitland, FL 32751
Tel 877-435-0200
contact@vaadrcf.org

www.vaadRCF.com
Rabbi Sholom Dubov, President

 

Rabbi Manish Spitz
4510 Post Avenue
Miami Beach FL 33140
Tel 305-672-1240


District of Columbia

 

American Friends of Lubavitch
Lubavitch Center
2110 Leroy Place NW
Washington, DC 20008

Tel: (202) 332-5600
Fax: (202) 332-5642

Web: www.afldc.org
Rabbi Levy Shemtov, Director

       

The Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington
Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington

11161 New Hampshire Ave, Suite 402
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Tel: (301) 593-0336
Fax: (301) 593-1115
E-mail: capitolkdc@verizon.net
capitolkdc@aol.com

Web: www.capitolk.org
Rabbi Hillel Klavan, President


 

Georgia

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Atlanta Kashrus Commission
1855 La Vista Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30329

Phone: (404) 634-4063; Fax: (404) 634-4254
akc@kosheratlanta.org
http://www.kosheratlanta.org

Dean/Posek: Rabbi Ilan Feldman 

 

Chabad Lubavitch of Georgia
(Congregation Beth Tefillah)
5065 Highpoint Road
Atlanta GA 30342
Ph. 404-843-2464
Fax 404-257-9306
admin@bethtefillah.org
rabbinew@aol.com
http://www.chabadofgeorgia.com
http://www.bethtefillah.org

Rabbi Yossi New

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Kosher Savannah
100 Atlas Street
Savannah GA 31405
Rabbi Yerucham Schochet
Rabbinic Administrator
912-220-2821 (P)
912-354-9923 (F)
rabbis@koshersavannah.com
www.koshersavannah.com
 

 

Vaad Hakashrus of Savannah
Congregation Bnai Brith Jacob
5444 Abercorn Street
Savannah GA 31405
Tel 912-354-7721
Fax 912-354-9923
bbjsynagogue@bellsouth.net

http://www.bbjsynagogue.com
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Avigdor Slatus

 

Hawaii

Chabad of Hawaii
410 Atkinson Drive
Ala Moana Hotel, Suite #451
Honolulu HI 96814
Tel 808-735-8161
Fax 808-998-1505

chabadhawaii@aol.com
www.chabadofhawaii.com
Rabbi Itchel Krasnjansky

 

Illinois

 

Association of Kashrus Organizations - AKO
2701 W. Howard, Chicago, IL. 60645
Phone: (773) 465-3900 x117
Fax: (773) 465-7219
info@akokosher.org
www.akokosher.org

Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, Executive Director

 

Chabad at University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana
509 S. Fourth Street
Champaign IL 61820
Ph 217-355-8672
Fax 217-355-8652
Rabbi@uiuc.edu
www.JewishUIUC.org

Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, Director

Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc)
2701 W. Howard, Chicago, IL. 60645
Phone: (773) 465-3900; Fax: (773) 465-6632
info@crcweb.org
www.crcweb.org

HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Bais Din
Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, Kashrus Administrator

 

KOF-K Chicago
2730 West Chase Avenue
Chicago, IL 60645
Ph 773-531-5899
Rabbi Sholom Gurewicz

 

Midwest Kosher

2857 West Pratt Blvd

Chigago, IL 60645

Tel (773) 761 4878
Cell (773) 251-4529
Fax (773) 764-8098

E-mail: mtarkieltaub@yahoo.com

Rabbonim Hamachshirim:
Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel Eichenstein
Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Goldzweig
Rabbinic Administrator:
Rabbi Mordechai Tarkieltaub

 

Org. of Orthodox Kashrus Supervision

Phone: (773) 539-8049
Rabbinic Administrator: 
Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, Chicago

 

Org. of Orthodox Kashrus Supervision

Phone: (773) 539-8049
Rabbinic Administrator: 
Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, Chicago

 

Rabbi Chaim Goldzweig
Congregation Tifereth Moshe
6308 N. Fancisco Avenue
Chicago, IL 60659
Ph. 773-764-5322/35
Fax. 773-764-5501

 

Indiana

 

Indianapolis Beth Din Lubavitch of Indiana
1037 Golf Lane
Indianapolis IN 46260
Ph. 317-251-5573
Fax 317-251-5510
indyrabbi@comcast.net
agrossbaum@hotmail.com
www.lubavitchindiana.com

Rabbi Avraham Grossbaum, Executive Director

 

Indianapolis Orthodox Board of Kashrus (IOBK)
Congregation B'nai Torah
6510 Hoover Road
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Tel. 317-253-5253
Fax. 317-253-5459
Cell. 317-777-5061
iobkkosher@yahoo.com
rabbi@btorah.org
www.btorah.org
Rabbi Yisrael Gettinger, Rav Hamachshir

 

Iowa

 

Iowa "Chai-K" Kosher Supervision
Lubavitch of Iowa

943 Cummins Parkway
Des Moines IA 50312
Tel. 515-227-1718
Fax. 515-277-1624
jrcpark@msn.com"
Rabbi Yossi Jacobson, Kashrus Administrator

 

Kansas

 

Vaad Hakashruth of Kansas City
9900 Antioch Road
Overland Park KS 66212
Tel. 913-341-2444, 649-4300
Cell. 913-207-3232
Fax 913-341-2467, 381-1159
vaadkc@kc.rr.com
rabbirockoff@biav.org
www.vaadkc.org
Rabbi Daniel Rockoff, Rav Hamachshir

 

Kentucky

 

Louisville Vaad Hakashruth
P.O.Box 5362
Louisville Ky, 40255-5359
Ph. 502-451-3122
Cell 419-290-7315
Fax 502-451-3123
rabbi@lvhkosher.orgebrubin@me.comwww.LVHKosher.org
Rabbi Evan B. Rubin, Kashruth Administrator

 

Louisiana

 

Louisiana Kashrut Committee
4141 West Esplanade Ave.
Metairie, Louisiana 70002
Ph 504-454-2910, 957-4986
Fax 504-456-9770, 456-9770
rabbi@louisianakosher.com
www.louisianakosher.com

Rabbi Yossie Nemes, Rabbinic Coordinator


Maryland

 
 

Star-K Kosher Certification (chalav Yisrael) &  Star-D Certification (non-chalav Yisrael)
122 Slade Ave. #300, Baltimore, MD 21208
www.star-k.org / star-k@star-k.org
Phone: (410) 484-4110; Fax: (410) 653-9294
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Moshe Heinemann

Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington
Rabbi Hillel Klavan, President
Rabbi Kalman Winter, Director
11161 New Hampshire Ave, Suite 402
Silver Spring, MD 20904
301-593-0336
Fax: 301-593-1115

 

Massachusetts

The Diamond K
100 Woodcliff Rd., Brookline, MA 02467

Phone: (617) 469- 5000; Fax: (617) 469-0089
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Mordechai Eckhaus

 

Michigan

 

Chabad House of Western Michigan Kashrus Division
2615 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids, MI 19506

Phone: (616) 957-0770; Fax: (616) 957-2368
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yosef Weingarten

k-cor.gif (656 bytes)

Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit (K-COR)
16947 West Ten Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075

Phone: (248) 559-5005; Fax: (248) 559-5202
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi B. Broyde

 

Minnesota

Blue Ribbon Kosher
2716 Kipling Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Phone: (952) 925-3651; Fax: (952) 925-3059
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Baruch Clein

 

Coordinated Kosher Supervision
2716 Kipling Avenue South, Minneapolis MN

Phone: (952) 925-3651; Fax: (952) 925-3059
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Baruch Clein

Rabbi Aryeh Geretz
Director, Minnesota Kosher

(952) 922-0522
(612) 865-3030 CELL
AGeretz@MinnesotaKosher.org
www.MinnesotaKosher.org

 

Missouri

THE "OV" Kosher Inspection Service
of The Vaad Hoeir of Saint Louis

Rabbi Sholom Rivkin (314) 569-2770

 

Montana

Chabad Lubavitch of Montana
8755 Huffman Lane
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: 406-585-8770
www.JewishMontana.com

 

Nevada

 

Chabad of South Nevada
1261 Arville St.
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Phone: (702) 259–0770
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Shea Harlig

 

New Jersey

 

Double U Kashrus Badatz Mehadrin USA
1140 Forest Ave., Lakewood, NJ 08701
Phone: (732) 363-7979; Fax: (732) 363-5451
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Y. Shain

 

Rabbi Shlomo Gissinger
170 Sunset Rd., Lakewood, NJ 08701
Phone: (732) 370–2139

Jersey Shore Orthodox Rabbinate (J.S.O.R.)
230 Crosby Ave., Deal, NJ 07723

Phone: (732) 531-4872; Fax: (732) 531-9021
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yitzchak Farhi

Kashrus Council of Lakewood N.J.
750 Forest Ave. #66, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Phone: (732) 901-1888; Fax: (732) 901-1833
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Avrohom Moshe Weisner

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Kof-K Kosher Supervision
201 The Plaza, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: (201) 837-0500; Fax: (201) 837-0126
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Aharon Felder

 

Vaad Hakashrus of Raritan Valley
P.O. Box 4119, Highland Park, NJ 08904
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Reuven Drucker

 

EarthKosher Kosher Certification Agency
137 Midwood Rd
Teaneck, New Jersey 07666
(201) 574-3883
www.earthkosher.com

Rabbi Zecharyah Tzvi Goldman
Rabbinic Administrator

Rabbi Zushe Yosef Blech
Kashrus Administrator

 

New York

The Association for Reliable Kashrus
104 Cumberland Place, Lawrence, NY 11559

Phone: (516) 239-5306; Fax: (845) 352-3847
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Shlomo Ullman

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Beis Din of Crown Heights Vaad Hakashrus
512 Montgomery St., Brooklyn, NY 11225

Phone: (718) 604-2500; Fax: (718) 221-0103
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yossi Brook

Certified Kosher Underwriters
1310 48th St.,

Phone: (718) 436-7373; Fax: (718) 436-3115
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Pinchos Horowitz

 

Chabad Lubavitch Arizona
2110 East Lincoln Dr., Brooklyn, NY 11219

Phone: (602) 944-2753; Fax: (602) 749-1131
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Zalman Levertov

 

Congregation Arugas Habosem 
Phone; (718) 387–9079
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yosef Moshe Grunwald

 

Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar
150 Rodney St., P.O. Box 506, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Phone: (718) 384-7449; Fax: (718) 384-7455
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yisroel Chaim Friedman

Central Rabbinical Congress (Hisachdus Harabanim)
85 Division Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211

Phone: (718) 384-6765; Fax: (718) 486-5574
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yitzchak Glick

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Debracin (Rabbi Shlomo Stern)
1641 56th St., Brooklyn, NY 11204
Phone: (718) 853–9623

 

Rabbi Binyamin Gruber
122 Adar Ct., Monsey, NY 10952
Phone: (845) 425–7516

 

K’hal Adas Vishnitz
186 Hooper St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 387-1871
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Fishel Sanderowitz

 

K’hal Adas Jeshurun (Breuer’s) (KAJ)
85-93 Bennett Ave, New York, NY 10033
Phone: (212) 923-3582; Fax: (212) 781-4275

Rabbinic Administrator:  Rav Zachariah Gelley

K’hal Chizuk Hadas of Flatbush
1421 Avenue O, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Phone: (718) 376-3755; Fax: (718) 375-2340
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yisroel Gornish

Rabbi Benjamin Kaplinsky
802 Roosevelt Court, Far Rockaway, NY  11691

Phone: (718) 327-3238; Fax: (718) 327-6529  

Young Israel of West Hempstead
630 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead, NY 11552

Phone: (516) 481-7429; Fax: (516) 481-3105
Rabbinic Administrator:   Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer

 

 

Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Krausz (Udvarer Rav)
227 Rutledge St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 387-2289
 

New Square Kosher Council
21 Truman Ave.

New Square, N.Y. 10977

Rabbi C.M. Wagshal, Rabbinic Administrator

Phone: 845 354-5120

Email: NSKOSHER@THEJNET.COM

 

 

National Kashrus (NK)
101 Route 306, Monsey, NY 10952
Phone: (845) 352-4448; Fax: (845) 356-9756

Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Yaacov Lipschutz

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The Organized Kashrus Laboratories (O/K)
391 Troy Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11213
Phone: (718) 756-7500; Fax: (718) 756-7503

Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Don Yoel Levy

 

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations (OU)
11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

Phone; (212) 613-8241; Fax: (212) 564-9058
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Menachem Genack

 

Kehillas Yaakov Pupa, Monsey
Phone: (845) 425-1260
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Moshe Rosner

 

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum (Nirbater Rav)
1617 46th St., Brooklyn, NY 11204

Phone: (718) 851-1221; Fax: (718) 436-4505
 

  Rabbi Aaron Simkin
kosher@mac.com

 

Rabbi Nuchem Efraim Teitelbaum (Volover Rav)
5808 11th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11219
Phone: (718) 436-4685

Vaad Hakashrus of K’hal Machzikei Hadas of Belz
P.O. Box 190728, Brooklyn, NY 11219

Phone; (718) 854-3711; Fax: (718) 854-0838
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi U. Eckstein

Vaad Hakashrus of Buffalo
P.O. Box 755, Williamsville, NY 14231

Phone: (716) 634-3990; Fax: (716) 634-0212
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Taub

Vaad Hakashrus of the Capital District

877 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12208

Phone: & Fax: 518-489-1530
Rabbi Moshe E. Bomzer, Rav HaMachshir
Rabbi Moshe Berger, Coordinator of Supervisions

 

Vaad Hakashrus of Kiryas Yoel
Monroe, NY 10950
Phone: (845) 783-7408
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Beresh Kaufman

 

Vaad Hakashrus of Mechon L’Hoyroa
168 Maple Ave., Monsey, NY 10952

Phone: (845) 425-9565 (ext. 101); Fax: (845) 425-2094
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Y. Tauber

 

Vaad Hakashrus of Rochester (VKR)
1161 Monroe Ave.,
Phone: (716) 473–1625; fax: (716) 473–0614

Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi S. Kilimnick

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Vaad Harabanim of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway
597A Willow Ave., Cedarhurst, NY 11516

Phone: (516) 569-4536; Fax: (516) 569-4565

Vaad Harabanim of Flatbush
1575 Coney Island Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230

Phone: (718) 951-8585; Fax: (718) 951-8510
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Meir Goldberg

Natural Food Certifiers
648 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY 10583

Phone: (888) 422-4NFC; Fax: (914) 426-0897
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Reuven Flamer

Vaad Harabonim of Queens
141-49 73rd Ave.
Flushing, NY 11367
(718) 520-9060
info@queensvaad.org / http://www.queensvaad.org

Machon L'Kashrus
Rabbi Unger

 

Oregon

 

Oregon Kosher
Office:
6698 SW Capitol Highway
Portland, OR 97219

Phone: (503) 343-3497, 664-4043, 222-1239
Fax: (503) 226-0241, 343-3318
Cell: (503) 975-6968
E-mail: info@oregonkosher.org

Web: www.oregonkosher.org
Rabbi Zalman Krems, Kashrus Advisor 
 

 

Pennsylvania

Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia
7505 Brookhaven Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19151

Phone: (610) 658-1967; Fax: (215) 473-6220
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Shlomo Caplan

Rabbi Dov Brisman

The Lehigh Valley Kashrus Commission (LVKC)
702 N. 22nd St.,
Allentown, PA 18104

Phone: (610) 434-3109; Fax: (610) 435-2859
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Mitchell Raven

Rabbi Yitzchok M. Leizerowski

Phone: (215) 342-7414

Philadelphia
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Dov Brisman

Vaad of Lancaster / Cong. Degel Israel
1120 Columbia Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 397-0183; Fax: (717) 509-6188
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Shaya Sackett

 

Tennessee

  

Vaad Hakehilot of Memphis
5449 Pecan Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38120. (901) 767-2263; Fax: (901) 761-3788. Rabbi Nathan Greenblatt, Kashrus Administrator

 

Texas

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Dallas Kosher (Vaad Hakashrus of Dallas)
7800 Northaven Rd.,
Dallas, TX 75230

Phone: (214) 739-6535; Fax: (214) 739-4635
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi S. Klein

International Kosher Supervision/Texas “K” Chicago Rabbinical Council
Phone: (773) 465-3900; Fax: (773) 465-6929

Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Sholem Fishbane

The Houston Kashruth Association
Rabbi Yehoshua Wender
713-398-0267

P.O. Box 35225
Houston, TX 77235

 

Virginia

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Vaad Hakashrus of Tidewater
420 Spotswood Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23517

Tel : (757) 572-6344; Fax: (757) 627-8544
Rabbinic Administrator:  Sholom Mostofsky

 

Washington

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Vaad Harabanim of Greater Seattle
5100 South Dawson St. #102, Seattle, WA 98118

Phone: (206) 760-0805; Fax: (206) 725-0347
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Aharon Brun-Kestler

 

Wisconsin

Kosher Supervisors Of Wisconsin
7020 N. Green Bay Avenue
Glendale, WI 53209
Phone: (414) 573-9353; Fax: (414) 228-8933
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Benzion Twerski, Rav Hamachshir, Rabbi Akiva Freilich, Rabbinic Administrator, Rabbi Tuvia Torem, Rabbinic Supervisor


 

England

Federation of Synagogues
65 Watford Way London, NW4 3AQ
Tel (44208) 202 2263 Fax (44203) 0610
Director of Kashrus – Dayan M Elzas
info@kfkosher.org

kedassia.gif (845 bytes) Kedassia, The Joint Kashrus Committee of England|
140 Stamford Hill, London N16 6QT
Phone: (44208) 802-6226 Fax: (44208) 809-7092
Rabbinic Administrator:  Mr. Yitzchok Feldman
K’hal Machzikei Hadas Edgeware
7 The Rise, Edgeware, Middlesex HABBNS
Phone: (44208) 958-1030 Fax: (44208) 958-3036
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Eliezer Schneebalg 
London Beth Din Kashrut Division
735 High Road, London N12 0US
Phone: (44208) 343-6253 Fax: (44208) 343-6254
Email: gita@kosher.org.uk
Machzikei Hadas Manchester
17 Northumberland St., Salford M7FH
Phone: (44161) 792-1313 Fax: (44161) 792-8592
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi M.M. Schneebalg
mk-england.gif (735 bytes) Manchester Beis Din
435 Cheetham Hill Rd., Manchester 8

Phone: (44161) 740-9711 Fax: (44161) 721-4249
Rabbinic Administrator: 

Dayan Osher Yaakov Westheim
15 Broom Lane, Salford M7 4EQ
Phone: (44161) 740-9711 Fax: (44161) 792-5124

Rabbinic Administrator: Mr. Yehuda Weiss

Gateshead Kashrus Authority
Address: 37 Grasmere Street, West Gateshead, NE8 1TS, United Kingdom
Phone: (+44) 0191 477-1598

Rabbinic Administrator: HaRav Elozor Lieberman

Canada

Picture Kashrus Council of Canada (COR)
4600 Bathurst St. #240, Toronto, Ontario M2R 3V2

Phone: (416) 635-9550; Fax: (416) 635-8760
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Mordechai Levin
Picture Montreal Vaad Hair
6825 Decarie Blvd., Montreal, Quebec H3W3E4

Phone: (514) 739-6363; Fax: (514) 739-7024
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Jaffe

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Orthodox Rabbinical Council of British Columbia
8080 Francis Rd., Richmond, BC V6Y 1A4

Phone: (604) 275-0042; Fax: (604) 277-2225
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Levy Teitelbaum

 

Badatz Toronto
Rabbi Moshe Bensalmon
Tel: 647-831-4916
Email: info@badatz.ca
Kashruth Administrator

Rabbi Amram Assayag
Tel: 905-669-7600 Ext 220
Email: assayag@badatz.ca
Rav Hamachshir

Argentina

Ajdut Israel Kosher
Rabbi Oppenheimer
Ajdut Israel Kosher
155-426-1255
nextel 260*199
www.kosher.org.ar

U-K Kashrus Organization
Rabbi Gabriel Yabra
Address: Uriburu 774 4°B,
Capital Federal, Argentina,
Tel: +54 11 4951 8366.
Fax:+54 11 4952 9422.
Email: uk@ukkosher.org
www.ukkosher.org
www.kosher.org.ar

Australia

  Kosher Australia (Melbourne Kashrut)
81 Balaclava Rd. Caulfield North. Victoria
Phone: (613) 9527-8337
; Fax: (613) 9528-4262
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Mordechai Zev Gutnick
The NSW Kashrus Authority|
P.O. Box 7206, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Phone: (612) 9365-2933; Fax: (612) 9365-0933

Rabbinic Administrator:  Moshe D. Gutnick

Israel

The Beis Din Tzedek of Agudas Israel Moetzes Hakashrus

Phone: (9722) 538-4999; Fax: (9722) 538-5145
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Zvi Geffner

 

Badatz Mehadrin
; Fax: (9728) 939-0818
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Avraham Rubin

The Beis Din Tzedek of the Eidah Hachareidis of Jerusalem Binyanei Zupnick
26A Rechov Strauss, Jerusalem
Phone: (9722) 624-6935
;
Fax: (9722) 625-4975
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Naftali Halberstam

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The Beis Din Tzedek of K’hal Machzikei Hadas - Maareches Hakashrus
P.O. Box 41109, Jerusalem 91410
Phone: (9722) 538-5832
; Fax: (9722) 537-4001
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Mordechai Brisk

Chug Chasam Sofer
18 Maimon St., P.O. Box 426, Bnei Brak 51273
Phone: (9723) 618-8596
; Fax: (9723) 579-5175
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Stern

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Rabbi Moshe Yehudah Leib Landau
, Bnei Brak
Phone: (9723) 618-2647
; Fax: (9723) 579-8967

“OU” in Israel OU Israel Center
22 Keren Hayesod St., P.O. Box 37015, Jerusalem 91370
Phone: (9722) 563-0303
;
Fax: (9722) 563-0061
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Mordechai Kuber

Rabanut Hareishit Rechovot
2 Goldberg St., Rechovot
Phone: (9728) 936–2682
; Fax: (9728) 936–2755
Rabbinic Administrator: 
Rabbi Avraham Rubin

Rabanut Yerushalayim Mehadrin
; Fax: (9722) 623-6816

Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Adler

Shearis Yisrael
Phone: (9723) 579-8631
; Fax: (9723) 579-8633
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Michael Hoffman

S.I.K.S. Ltd./ Services International Kosher Supervision
P.O. Box 34108, Jerusalem 91340
Phone: (9722) 651-5361
; Fax: (9722) 651-9087
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Moshe Saadoun

Brazil

Communidade Ortodoxa Israelita Kehillas Hachareidim Departmento de Kashrus
Fax: (5511) 3064-0302

China

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HKK Kosher Certification Service

Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi D. Zadok

11/A Kingsford Height
17 Babington Path
Mid Levels Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2 540-8661  Fax: 852 2 549-9334

France

Adas Yereim of Paris Rabbi Y.D. Frankfurter
33 RUE MIGUEL HIDALGO
F-75019 PARIS
FRANCE
Tel office : + 33 1 42 00 13 13
Fax office : + 33 1 42 00 06 53
Yaacov Frankforter coordinator
Tel in Israel : + 972 52 76 16 381
Tel direct : + 33 1 42 00 06 50
Cellular : + 33 6 14 51 72 73
E-mail : kosher@ravfrankforter.org
Daniel Amram coordinator
Cellular : + 33 6 18 95 20 26
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Chaim Amram

 

Rabbi Hilel Pewzner (Rav of Lubavitch - France)
Cite de L’education Sinai  2 a 8 Rue Tristan Tzara 75018 Paris
Phone: (3314) 038-1011  Fax: (3314) 038-0771
Rabbinic Administrator: Rabbi Hilel Pewzner

Rabbi Mordechai Rottenberg (Chief Orthodox Rav of Paris)
10 Rue Pavee, Paris 75004
Phone: (3314) 887-4903  Fax: (3314) 887-2629

 

Rabbi Shmuel Yaffa-Schlessinger
14 Rue Oberlin, Strasbourg
Phone: (3338) 836-2745 

Mexico

Kashrut Department of Maguen David Community in Mexico City
Lafontaine #229, Polanco 11550, Mexico City
Phone: (525) 203-9964  Fax: (525) 250-6681
Rabbinic Administrator:  Rabbi Nisim Hilu
Chabad Lubavitch Guadalajara
Rabbi Abraham Srugo
Phone: 5233 36424490
Nextel: 5233 38707343
E-mail: rabbi@chabadmx.org
Page: www.chabadmx.org

Notes

The following are some Kashrus designations with their meanings:
  • D — Dairy
  • DE — Dairy Equipment (no actual dairy in ingredients, hence it can be eaten after a meat meal, but not together with meat)
  • P — Passover; Kosher for all year including Passover (Note: “P” NEVER designates pareve)
  • Pareve — Non-dairy and non-meat
  • Chalav Yisrael — Kosher supervised milk used in ingredients
  • Pas Yisrael — Jewish baked goods
  • Yashan — Not from current grain crop
When the above reliable kosher symbols are on the outside, you can trust what's inside. The following symbols are among those that we can recommend without qualification, meaning that you can assume that we would recommend any product that is legitimately certified by one of these agencies. If a symbol does not appear here it does not mean that we would not recommend any or all of the foods certified by that agency. In fact, you will find many products in our database that bear symbols that do not appear here, or that bear no symbol at all. When you have a question about whether we would recommend any particular product, please search the database for that product. If you don’t find it in the database, you are welcome to ask us.

History of Kosher Certification

In the U.S.A., the kosher certifying agencies with which we are familiar did not start until the 1920’s and 1930’s, but their development can be traced back over 200 years. The need for kosher supervision in the United States dates back to Colonial times. As early as 1660, a Jew from Portugal applied for a license to sell kosher meat in New Amsterdam. The first recorded complaint was in 1771 against the Shochet Moshe. In 1774, the widow, Hetty Hays, complained that her shochet (ritual slaughterer) was selling non-kosher meat. This led to the first court license revocation against a kosher butcher in 1796. As Jewish communities developed in the United States, they originally followed the European pattern of having community appointed shochtim. By this method, the shochet could easily be removed if he did not follow the strict guidelines set down by the community leaders. This method changed drastically in 1813, when the schochet, Avraham Jacobs, became the first independent schochet in the United States. He was followed by many more. Unfortunately, this change led to a rapid decline in the standard of kosher meat. In 1863, a group of laymen and shochtim got together to try to form a kashrus organization that could control this situation. Regrettably, they were unsuccessful. It was not until 1897 that the shochtim themselves banded together to form a union called "Meleches Hakodesh." Their goal was to improve kashrus standards, as well as the wages of shochtim. By 1918, kosher products started finding their way into the American market. Abraham Goldstein, a chemist, was highly instrumental in both importing these products as well as in convincing domestic companies (such as Sunshine Biscuit Co.) to become certified kosher. In 1924, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis (O/U), which had been established in 1892, decided to enter the field of kashrus. Mr. Goldstein was appointed as its first director. During the "food revolution" of the past 50 years, as more and more products are prepared in company plants and not in private kitchens, the "O/U" has been active as a non-profit organization in the kosher certification of these products. Mr. Goldstein continued to head the O/U from 1924 until 1935. Feeling a need for another certifying agency, he started the O/K Laboratories. Today, the O/U, headed by Rabbi Menachem Genack, and the O/K, headed by Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, reliably certify many thousands of products and ingredients that we have become accustomed to using daily. As the complexity of manufacturing processes and the need for kosher certification has increased, so has the number of agencies and individuals interested in meeting this need. This has led to the rise of newer certifying agencies, such as VHM, the Chaf K, Kehilloh, Star K and others. Furthermore, individual rabbis have entered this field, often using their own kosher symbol or even just a plain "K" to designate a product’s kosher status. This has caused a great deal of confusion. When there were only two or three certifying agencies, it was easy for consumers to judge their reliability. But today, it may take a great deal of detective work to ascertain the standard that a particular rabbi is using. Consequently, many people prefer to rely on only the well-known certifying agencies, rather than risk the chance that a product may not meet their personal standard of kashrus. The O/U, O/K, Star-K and Kof-K are the largest relied upon kosher agencies in the world today.

Introduction to Kosher Certification

   There was a time when a woman did all her family’s preparation in her own kitchen. Back then, it was obvious that pig’s feet were not kosher, and ice cream was. In the past few decades, however, there has been a revolution in American eating. Almost 90 percent of our food is now processed before reaching our kitchens. With synthetic meats and exotic food additives, artificial pig’s feet could be kosher, whereas the ice cream might not be.

    These developments in the food industry have been paralleled by the growth of kosher certification organizations formed to assure consumers that appropriately processed foods can be bought with confidence.

    As a matter of fact, it has been estimated that approximately one third of all shelf products in our supermarkets are certified kosher. This makes the kosher industry in the U.S. a 30 billion dollars a year business. Although only a relatively small amount of this is dedicated strictly toward the kosher consumer (about $2 billion), the interest in kosher food is rapidly growing. Some adhere to kosher laws from conviction, such as seventh day adventists, Muslims, and vegetarians. However most of the interest comes from people who feel that the kosher certification is their best guarantee that the products and its ingredients are being watched carefully and properly. Some large corporations have found it profitable to acquire kosher companies, such as a recent (1992) acquisition by Sara Lee of the $85 million a year Besin Corp., which produces Sinai and Best products. This trend appears to be on the rise. In the U.S. alone, there appear to be at least 5 million people who buy products based on their being kosher.

    A food manufacturer obtains kosher certification usually by requesting it. The reasons for the request can vary from the company’s own desire to produce a kosher product to appeals from industrial customers or consumers. Sometimes company "A" requests supervision, and in the course of the investigation of its ingredients it becomes clear that Company "B"s products will also require certification. Some certifying organizations solicit companies. Others, such as the O/U, provide certification only upon application by a food manufacturer.

    Once contact with a certifying agency is made, the detective work begins. The manufacturer must supply a complete, detailed list of every ingredient in the product, including preservatives, release agents, stabilizers or other inert ingredients. In addition, every step in the manufacturing process, every cleansing agent used on the equipment and all other products produced on the same premises require close investigation and supervision.

    The certifying agency must track down each ingredient to its ultimate source. If, for instance, the ingredient is meat or a meat by-product, the item cannot be kosher unless the meat source itself is strictly kosher. Wine and wine by-products, cheese, and some dairy by-products (such as whey) present the same problem. Any oil used in the manufacture of foodstuffs has to be traced back to the oil processor. Many vegetable oils are produced in machinery that is also used to process animal fats and oils. The Federal Food and Drug Administration acknowledges that "100 percent vegetable oil" may in fact have a percentage of animal fat in some batches. In such a case, of course, the oil is not recommended.

    Some ingredients with innocuous sounding names need special attention. "Natural colors" have been known to be derived from insects, "softeners" from whale oil, and "artificial flavors" from cats. Therefore, the supervising agency must conduct a complete and intense investigation into the origin of all the ingredients.

    The process by which ingredients are produced must also be carefully checked. In fact, it is necessary to check the processing locations to verify that hygienic standards are not so lax as to allow insects or worms to contaminate the food product. Unfortunately, lax hygiene in food processing is more common than people wish to believe.

    The results of all these investigations are forwarded to the rabbinic authority (or board) of the supervising agency. If changes in ingredients or processes are required, the manufacturer must make the changes before the agency will do further work. Once all is acceptable, the rabbinic authority will determine the amount of on-plant supervision necessary. This information is written into a contract and then sent to the manufacturer. The contract also specifies that the manufacturer agrees to make no changes of ingredients or suppliers without prior written consent of the agency. The actual on-site inspector (mashgiach) will verify that the company is complying with the contract.

    Should the manufacturer cease to comply with the contract, the agency either will see that the necessary changes are made or it will revoke its certification. Because organizations like the O/U or Chaf-K have registered servicemarks, unauthorized printing of these symbols on labels is a violation of Federal law. These certifying agencies have legal redress against possible abuse by manufacturers of their symbols. Some states have laws against falsely advertising that a product is kosher. Also, when reliable certifying agencies know that a particular product will no longer be under their supervision, they will publicize that fact widely. However, these safeguards are not enforceable when only the letter K is used for kosher certification.

    The cost of certification to the manufacturer is minimal. For non-profit agencies, cost depends on the amount of on-site work. Agencies making a profit might have a minimum annual charge and fees depending on the gross annual sales of the product. The individual supervisor (mashgiach) is typically paid for each visit he makes to the plant (He usually receives less per visit than an auto mechanic makes per hour). The mashgiach is paid by the certifying agency and not by the manufacturer. There is usually no increase in the price of the product due to its kosher certification, because the cost of certification is generally met by increased sales. The O/U reports that in over 45 years, fewer than 12 companies discontinued their certification programs because sales did not increase. Thus, kosher supervision benefits the manufacturer and the consumer, who can be confident that foods may be consumed without violating the kosher standards. If this were the whole story, this chapter would not be necessary. But the fact is that standards, even of national certifying organizations, can vary significantly.

 

    Perhaps our suspicion of the legitimacy of the kosher status of some products can be illustrated most clearly with the following actual letter from a certifying rabbi to a food manufacturer. All identifying information has been deleted. The footnotes explain the problems raised by the letter:

Dear Mr. ____________,

It was a pleasure to hear from you. I am happy to inform you that I certainly will grant kosher certification to (name of product). You may identify these products with the K insignia.However, I would very much wishto know the names of the suppliers and the ingredients.I expect to be at the ______________ plant during February,and perhaps at that time the manufacturing procedure of these new productscould be explained to me.

With warm and most cordial wishes for all the best,

Sincerely yours, Rabbi ________________

 

Our notes:1. The manufacturer did not need this line to have permission to print a K on the label. The K is not a copyrighted symbol nor even a certification that the product is kosher. 2. "Wish," not "need"!3. The rabbi asks this AFTER stating that the product is kosher. Is he a prophet?4. That is, the actual investigation of the product, the manufacturing process, and the ingredients will not be completed for a month. During that time, the manufacturer will with the rabbi’s authorization—be printing K’s on his labels, thinking that it is kosher and misleading the public into believing that the product is kosher despite the absence of evidence. Let us suppose that the rabbi were to discover that the product is absolutely not kosher. What would he do about the thousands of items on grocery shelves? Would he recall them? With what authority? Indeed, one can only wonder whether a rabbi with such lax standards ever tried to recall a product that he discovered was not kosher.5. This statement makes it abundantly clear that the timing of the certification before the investigation cannot be explained as a carry-over from a previous year.6. We cannot find any reason that a rabbi who has not seen the process or even come to understand it from a phone call would consent to authorize a food producer to label a product as kosher. We feel, therefore, that only someone with very low standards of kashrus would trust any certification by this rabbi.
 

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