A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 16, 2006
“You Don’t Have To Be Jewish” (Levy’s Jewish Rye)
"You Don't Have To Be Jewish To Love Levy's Jewish Rye" is one of the most famous advertising campaigns ever. In 1979, Levy's was sold to Arnold (now part of George Weston Bakeries).

http://arnold.gwbakeries.com/product.cfm/upc/7341003200
Arnold Jewish Plain Rye: Arnold's special rye flavor comes from a unique combination of rye flours and rye sour. The bread is baked in a larger two pound loaf, which is split into one pound loaves. This allows for the bread to be baked evenly and longer at a slightly lower temperature to develop the crust and natural taste, and ensures that the bread stays moist within the crust
UPC: 7341003200

http://arnold.gwbakeries.com/product.cfm/upc/7153507200
Levy Plain Rye: Levy's special rye flavor comes from a unique combination of rye flours and rye sour. The bread is baked in a larger two pound loaf, which is split into one pound loaves. This allows for the bread to be baked evenly and longer at a slightly lower temperature to develop the crust and natural taste, and ensures that the bread stays moist within the crust.
UPC: 7153507200

http://www.ciadvertising.org/student_account/fall_01/adv382j/lrahma/bernbach/levy.html
In 1960, the campaign stretched into a series of posters that placed in subways. For this particular campaign, the slogan was "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's." and images of various ethnic groups enjoying the bread as the main visual. The concept was derived from its previous success in reaching the unexpected targets. Bernbach also changed the company's name from Levy's Real Rye to Levy's Real Jewish Rye. Though at first Rubin objected to the name change for the anti-semantic clash, Bernbach once again persuaded him by saying,
"For God's sake, your name is Levy's. They are not going to mistake you for high Episcopalian' (Levenson, 1987).

As a result, posters of the campaign was copied and parodied by many people because of their humorous and simple appeals.

Although the ad budget was small, $50,000, DDB once again prove to be able to create another successful campaign. Like what he did for Ohrbach, Bernbach gave Levy's bakery a lasting personality.

17 October 1964, New York Times, pg. 34:
"You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's" declares one poster.

26 May 1979, New York Times, pg. 23:
Levy's Bakers to Close,
Selling Name to Arnold

Henry S. Levy & Son, the baker of Levy's Bread ("You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's real Jewish rye"), has sold its name to Arnold Bakers, of Greenwich, Conn., and will soon close its Brooklyn bakery and end nearly 100 years of operations in the New York City area, Samuel C. Rubin, Levy's president, said last night.

Consumers will continue to see the levy name on rye, pumpernickel and other breads made by Arnold for distribution on New York, but unless a purchaser or leasee can be found to take over the Levy bakery at 115 Thames Street, all 250 employees will be dismissed, Mr. Rubin said.

6 June 1979, New York Times, pg. C3:
Levy's Jewish Rye Will Soon Be Arnold's
By FRED FERRETTI

YOU don't have to be Jewish to mourn a bit over the passing of Levy's Real Jewish Rye Bread from Brooklyn, after 91 years, to Connecticut.
(...)
The bakery was founded by Henry S. Levy in 1888 and was first situated on Moore Street and Graham Avenue. it later moved to 413 Park Avenue, then, about 55 years ago, in the mid-1920's, it relocated to 115 Thames Street, where it stayed.
(...)
Levy's was a bakery famous even before it was immortalized in advertising. It was mentioned in the book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and was a pioneer in the baking of "cheese bread" a golden-yellow loaf 25 percent of which is a combination of bleu and cheddar cheeses.
(...)
Doyle Dane Bernbach had had the Levy's account since 1949, but it wasn't until 1961 that the idea of a campaign appealing to New York's ethnic sense was conceived. It was created by a writer, Judy Protas, and Bill Taubin, the art director. Miss Protas said, "We had a local bread, real Jewish bread, that was sold widely in Brooklyn to Jewish people. What we wanted to do was enlarge its public acceptance. Since New York is so mixed ethnically, we decided to spread the good word that way."

New York (NY) Times
Phyllis K. Robinson, a Top Copywriter, Dies at 89
By STUART ELLIOTT
Published: January 21, 2011
In the late 1940s, it was rare to find a woman in senior management at an advertising agency. But when Doyle Dane Bernbach opened its doors on June 1, 1949, its chief copywriter was Phyllis K. Robinson, who went on to help create memorable campaigns for Polaroid cameras and Levy’s rye bread as DDB achieved legendary status in the industry.
(...)
Ms. Robinson was paired with an art director, Bob Gage, and together they produced ads for marketers like Orbach’s department store, Polaroid instant cameras and Levy’s breads. For Levy’s Real Jewish Rye, there were colorful posters. Some showed a slice of rye disappearing, bite by bite. The headline: “New York is eating it up!”

Other posters showed New Yorkers of various ethnicities eating sandwiches. The headline, which entered the vernacular: “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye.”
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, February 16, 2006 • Permalink


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