550 Men in 30 Communities Join Study Program

Do you want to raise the level of your entire community with one program? Over 550 participants in close to 30 Chabad communities have joined the Chabad branch of the Semichas Chaver program, which provides in-depth halacha classes, along with the rulings of the Alter Rebbe, Tzemach Tzedek and Chabad Poskim. 

Lubavitcher communities and Chabad Houses around the world are joining the Chabad branch of the Semichas Chaver Program, which provides a curriculum to learn in-depth halacha along with the rulings of the Alter Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek and Chabad Poskim.

The Semichas Chaver Program (SCP), started by Rabbi Elyada Goldwicht to teach in-depth halacha classes to Baaleh Batim currently boasts over 120 locations, with over 2,000 weekly talmidim. The curriculum is a text-based study of the background and underlying principles of the halacha. It starts with the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch, and follows the chain of halacha all the way to the contemporary Poskim and modern issues.

Semichas Chaver Chabad (SCP Chabad) is a branch of SCP founded by Rabbi Betzalel Bassman and Rabbi Avrohom Jacks. They have worked in conjunction with Lubavitcher Rabbonim to adapt the curriculum to follow the opinions of the Alter Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek and contemporary Chabad Poskim.

SCP Chabad is a seven-year program divided into six-month courses with classes held weekly. Each six month course is an independent subject after which students review the material and take a test. Those who pass the test receive a prestigious Semichas Chaver certificate signed by leading Rabbonim from around the world, including Chabad Rabbonim. SCP Chabad is endorsed by leading Chabad Rabbonim including HaRav Gedalia Oberlander shlit”a and HaRav HaDayan Levi Raskin shlit”a.

To discuss bringing this program to your community contact Rabbi Betzalel Bassman ASAP. The deadline for registration for the next zman (starting right after Tishrei) is Chai Elul. To contact please email [email protected].

Classes are growing, and SCP participants are excited!  “I feel very fortunate to BH able to participate in the Semichas Chaver learning program,” said Reuven Frank of Baltimore. “Much thought and intention has been given to the structure and delivery of the material; there is a beautiful balance of conceptual background and practical application.”

Dr. Michael Moritz of Pittsburgh agrees. “Semichas Chaver is a university-level program in content, structure and instruction. It’s interesting, challenging, engaging and useful. I am fortunate to have this.”

Rabbis teaching the program are also excited!  “The balance between in-depth study and its practical application in halacha is beautiful,” says Rabbi Dovid Shmuckler, who teaches the course in Los Angeles. “The program has amazing repercussions,” he says, “starting right in the heart of the Beis Medrash and spreading outwards to family and friends.”  

Rabbi Mendy Cohen of Sacramento comments, “I want to thank everybody who is putting so much work into the Simchas Chaver Chabad program!  It is transforming our community, giving so many people an understanding of how halacha works.”

Rabbi Moshe Markowitz has been teaching SCP Chabad in Chicago for a year now. He describes the material as, “at the same time is true הלכה לעיון and also הלכה למעשה. Every shiur is designed in a way that keeps it exciting, interesting and very interactive.” 

Rabbi Yossi Marlow that been teaching SCP-Chabad in North Miami Beach said: “The SCP-Chabad program is a wonderfully structured presentation of various topics in hilchos Shabbos allowing in-depth comprehension and greater awareness of shmiras Shabbos to be taken to a whole different level”.

Rabbi Mendel Gurary of Antwerp extols the program. “It’s clear that the organizers are investing a lot of time and effort to make it work,” he says. He adds that it’s been years since he’s seen so many ba’al habatim gathered together for this kind of shiur. “[Their dedication] is reflected both in their consistent attendance and in the passion they have during the study itself. And all week they’re trying to implement their lessons at home.”

Rabbi Moshe Slavaticki of Baltimore appreciates the diversity of his class, which he says has the largest audience of any in the community. “Those who want to know halacha in matters relevant to daily life discussed by contemporary poskim will find it interesting. Those who want to learn Halacha for its shakla vtarya, or to study the origins of Halacha will find it interesting. Those who want to review their Yeshiva learning will find it interesting. Those who want to learn something unique each week that’s still part of a larger study will find it interesting.” 

He’s also impressed with how it reaches the families as well. “Many of the participants say that it has changed their Shabbos table. Every week they discuss a practical and interesting halachic topic at the Shabbos table, with all the family members and guests participating and enjoying the discussion.”

Classes will cover relevant subjects such as Bishul Akum, Pas Akum, Tevilas Keilim, Ha’galas Keilim, Basar V’cholov, Berochos, Nida, Mezuzah, Muktza, Melaben, Bone B’Keilim, Borer, Sechita, Hadlokas Neiros, Ribbis, Hilchos Tefila, Hilchos Beis Haknesses, and more.

This next 6-month z’man, which in the coming week, will include the topics of Hadolokas Neiros, Kabbolos Shabbos, Bein Hashmoshos and much more. 

Here is a full list of the current locations for SCP – Chabad 

Rabbi Betzalel Bassman – Pittsburgh, PA

Rabbi Berel Bell – Montreal, Canada

Rabbi Dovber Chaiton – Las Vegas, NV

Rabbi Mendy Cohen – Sacramento, CA

Rabbi Avi Dagan – New Haven, CT

Rabbi Dovber Dechter – Phoenix, AZ

Rabbi Shmulie Friedman – Cleveland, OH

Rabbi Mendel Gurary – Antwerp, Belgium

Rabbi Avrohom Jacks – Toronto, Canada

Rabbi Michoel Lerner – Crown Height, NY

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kagan – Monsey, NY

Rabbi Yossi Marlow – North Miami Beach, FL

Rabbi Moshe Markowitz – Chicago, IL

Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin – Petach Tikva first location in Eretz Yisroel – סמיכת חבר חב״ד בעברית! 

Rabbi Chaim Schapiro – Morristown, NJ

Rabbi Nochum Schapiro – Coconut Cay, FL

Rabbi Dovid Shmukler – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Shneur Silverberg – Detroit, MI (2 locations)

Rabbi Moshe Slavaticki – Baltimore, MA

Rabbi Mendel Yuzevitz – Crown Heights, NY

FAQs about SCP-Chabad – for potential Talmidim here

FAQs about SCP-Chabad – for potential Maggidei Shiurim here

An additional program called HalachaU is being designed to provide the content of SCP Chabad to an audience with little or no Yeshiva background, and is currently being piloted in 6 Chabad Houses.

Here are the current locations for HalachaU’s pilot program

Rabbi Yisroel Altein – Pittsburgh, PA

Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht – Ulster County, NY

Rabbi Levi Jacobson – Toronto, Canada

Rabbi Meir Chaim Posner – Chabad on Yale University

Rabbi Eliyahu Rappaport – Chicago, IL

Rabbi Sholom Ber Wolberg – Glencoe, IL

Some Testimonials from Rabbeim giving HalachaU in their Chabad Houses:

HalachaU has proved to be a phenomenal learning program for our community. 

It is a great balance of deep and comprehensive Gemara learning, alongside the clear and practical Halachic applications.

I have seen the tangible effect that this shiur has had on members of our community in knowledge and practice.

I highly recommend HalachaU for shluchim looking to provide their mekuravim with a great learning experience.

–Rabbi Sholom Ber Wolberg 

Chabad of Glencoe, IL

The HalachaU program is a great way to introduce Belebatim to learning a comprehensive subject in Halacha. 

–Rabbi Yisroel Altein

Chabad of Squirrel Hill, PA

Written in a clear way, it guides you through the subject beginning from Gemara through contemporary poskim and practical application.

I’ve had community members who have been frum for many years, but never learned these halachos in depth because they felt that with their background they wouldn’t be able to really understand them. But this class has given them the tools and materials they need not just to know what to do, but to really feel like they are part of the back and forth process of the great Poskim and their decisions.

–Rabbi Eliyahu Rapoport

Chicago, IL

To find out more about SCP Chabad or HalachaU please contact Rabbi Betzalel Bassman – [email protected]

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