Kosher Certifications

Learn more about Kosher Certifications and their meanings in this handy guide.

If you are new to keeping Kashrut (Jewish dietary law) or if you are simply new to a city/state/country, then you may need to know some basic Hebrew terminology to determine whether or not an item falls under the proper guidelines for consumption. In addition to popular terminology, we will provide some basic Kosher Certifications examples of with a few links to help you determine who certifies in your area.

If you are interested in learning more about keeping kosher, check out our guide: Kosher 101: Basic Kashrut

Or if you already keep kosher and have questions about what fish is kosher, check out our guide: Kosher Fish List

Want to learn more about Jewish food? Check out our guide: What is “Jewish Food”


A hechsher, or “prior approval” is a rabbinical product certification, qualifying items (usually food or drink) that conforms to the requirements of halakha. If an item has a hechsher, then it is considered kosher by that authority.

When a food item requires the involvement of a rabbi in the cooking or baking process, it is called Bishul Yisroel.

Chalav Yisroel refers to milk or dairy products that have been supervised by a rabbi since the milking for passoverPassover is a Jewish Holiday in which a stricter authority of supervision is need to make sure no legumes or leavening is present within a product. Kosher L’Pesach is a phrase used to define a product fit for consumption during this period. Kitniyot refers to legumes and is commonly used as legumes are forbidden for Ashkenazi Jews.

Pareve (Parve) means that the product in question considered neither dairy or meat and can be consumed with both.
Bakery products baked by a Rabbi is considered Pas Yisroel. Some levels of kashrut require at minimum the turning on of an oven by a rabbi and at most their baking of the entire product.

Yoshon are products that are made from a special type of “winter” grain as defined by Jewish law.

Common Kosher Certifications

Orthodox Union

Orthodox Union




Star-D of NCYI

Organized Kashrus Laboratories

Organized Kashrus Laboratories



Kehilla Kosher

Kehilla Kosher

Bdatz Mehadrin

Bdatz Mehadrin

Resources Agencies

Directory of Kosher Certifying Agencies


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