800 Set to Join New Semester of Popular Halacha Program

Over 800 participants in 40 Chabad communities and Chabad Houses have joined the next six-month curriculum of the Chabad branch of the Semichas Chaver program.

How would you like to join a course that would give you mastery over sections of Shulchan Aruch with practical halachic application? 

How would you like to join a shiur that took you through the background of the halacha starting with Gemara down to the contemporary Poskim?

How would you like to join a program that gave you a weekly list of Q&A’s that would enable you to share with your family’s Shabbos table some practical halachos that you’ve learned in that week’s class?

How would you like a group that provided a weekly halacha comic based on one of that week’s practical halachos to share with your kids?

How would you like a chabura that taught all the above with a focus on the opinion of the Alter Rebbe, Tzemach Tzedek and contemporary Chabad Poskim?

How would you like to get tested on the above sugyas and get a certificate signed but some of the leading Poskim in the world and Chabad affirming your mastery of the material?

No financial cost to join, just a strong desire and commitment to grow in Torah and yiras shomayim!

What is Semichas Chaver?

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.

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, 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 

Full list of current SCP-Chabad Rabbeim 

Rav Betzalel Bassman – Pittsburgh, PA

Rav Berel Bell – Montreal, Canada

Rav Mendy Cohen – Sacramento, CA

Rav Avi Dagan – New Haven, CT

Rav Dovber Dechter – Phoenix, AZ

Rav Mendel Gurary – Antwerp, Belgium

Rav Chaim Dovid Kagan – Monsey, NY

Rav Sholom Heidingsfeld – Simcha Monica, CA

Rav Avrohom Jacks – Toronto, Canada

Rav Yossi Marlow – North Miami Beach, FL

Rav Moshe Markowitz – Chicago, IL

Rav Michoel Lerner – Crown Height, NY

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

Rav Yankel Raskin – Brooklyn, NY

Rav Yitzchok Holtzman – Crown Heights, NY

Rav Eli Philips – Hallandale Beach, Florida

Rav Chaim Rapaport – Edgware, UK

Rav Tzemach Raskin – Montreal, CAN

Rav Mottel Rubin – Albany, NY

Rav Chaim Schapiro – Morristown, NJ

Rav Dovid Shmukler – Los Angeles, CA

Rav Shneur Silverberg – Detroit, MI (2 locations)

Rav Moshe Slavaticki – Baltimore, MA

Rav Mendy Wineberg – Atlanta, GA 

Rav Noach Winterstein – Cleavland, OH

Rav Moshe Yaras – Coral Springs, FL

Rav Asher Webb – Remsen, NY

Rav Levi Zaltzman – Toronto, CAN

Rav Koppel Zirkind – Postville, IA

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 9 Chabad Houses.

Here are the current locations for HalachaU’s pilot program

Rabbi Yisroel Altein – Pittsburgh, PA

Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht – Ulster County, NY

Rabbi Chaim Hoch – Borehamwood, England  

Rabbi Levi Jacobson – Toronto, Canada

Rabbi Shmuel Rothstein – Chabad at Pitt

Rabbi Meir Chaim Posner – Chabad on Yale University

Rabbi Nesanel Schochet – Johannesburg, South Africa

Rabbi Shlomo Silverman – Chabad at CMU

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 class was practical Halacha on a higher level of learning that gave the students the chance to see and appreciate how the halacha they practice was developed. It’s not just dry Halacha. It’s the whys and hows of what we do from Chumash down to today, and the students could engage in the thinking process with the Posklm they were learning.

–Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht

Chabad of Ulster County

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

If SCP – Chabad is not yet in your community ask your Rav, Shliach, Askan to reach out. To find out more about SCP Chabad or HalachaU please contact Rabbi Betzalel Bassman – [email protected]

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