In Baltimore, a group of Lubavitchers celebrated the completion of a semester of the Semichas Chaver – Chabad program with a siyum. Among the speakers was a local rov who was amazed at what he saw.
By Anash.org reporter
A siyum was held in Baltimore, celebrating the achievements of 10 individuals who successfully passed the test at the conclusion of the first semester of the Semichas Chaver – Chabad program.
Addressing the shiur participants were Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, head shliach of Maryland, Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon, shliach to Park Heights and rov of Bais Lubavitch, Rabbi Eli Sufrin, one of the mesaymim, and Rabbi Yisrael Motzen, rabbi of Ner Tamid, a local shul.
Rabbi Motzen commented that when he moved to Baltimore 17 years ago, he was searching for a Lubavitcher sefer and couldn’t find anyone who had it. The Chabad community in Baltimore was tiny at the time. “They said that Chabad would never grow here,” he shared. “They were wrong. Today, we even have our own replica of 770. I’m just in awe of this quick growth and welcome the unique flavor that the Chabad community brings to Jewish Baltimore.”
Rabbi Motzen encouraged the students in their learning, blessing them with continued growth.
Rabbi Yechiel Shanowitz, who runs the Semichas Chaver – Chabad program in Baltimore, joined weekly by 35 participants, is proud of the great success that the program has seen.
“For quite a few years we have been working on creating learning opportunities for Anash here in Baltimore,” he said. “When presenting SCP to Balei Battim there was an unprecedented interest displayed. People were very impressed by the professionalism and detail of the program. Since we have begun, every week the Beis Medrash is full of participants.
“The positive feedback has been non-stop. Never before have they learned the most practical halachos with such depth and clarity. The practical Q&As, sourcebooks and PowerPoints make the experience very engaging. In addition, the weekly emails with notes, Q&As and comic strips really bring the halachos home. A huge side benefit is the achdus and comradery created among the participants.”
A significant factor in the program’s success is the talented maggid shiur, Rabbi Moshe Slavaticki, a local rosh yeshiva who brings a wealth of knowledge to each class, delivered clearly and thoughtfully.
The participants were asked to share their thoughts on the program. Based on the enthusiastic feedback, it is clear that they are as committed and passionate about the shiurim as the organizers. Here are a few excerpts of their responses:
- “…a beautiful balance of conceptual background and practical application.”
- “The program affords us the opportunity to gain a substantial knowledge base through the use of detailed supplementary material which also aids in motivating review and discussion with friends and family.”
- “…the Chabad version of the program adds in the perspectives of the Alter Rebbe and later Chabad poskim which makes it so much more relevant and interesting!”
- “The most beautiful part is having Litvish poskim mentioned together with Sephardi and Chabad all in one breath – truly creating Achdus Yisrael.”
- “Overall an incredible program that I am beyond excited to continue participating in!”
Semichas Chaver (SCP) is an organization led by Rabbi Elyada Goldwicht that provides a curriculum to teach in-depth halacha classes. The program is currently in over 120 locations with over 2,000 weekly talmidim. The classes are a text-based study of the background and underlying principles of the halacha. The curriculum starts with the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch and follows the chain of the halacha to the contemporary Poskim.
Those who passed the final test received their diplomas, signed by Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim, Rishon L’Tziyon, Rabbi Shlomo Amar; and prominent Chabad poskim Rabbi Gedalya Oberlander and Rabbi Yehoram Ulman.
Semichas Chaver – Chabad (SCP-Chabad) is a branch of Semichas Chaver directed by Rabbi Betzalel Bassman and Rabbi Avrohom Jacks. SCP-Chabad is working in conjunction with numerous Lubavitcher Rabbonim to adapt the curriculum to follow the opinions of the Alter Rebbe, Tzemach Tzedek, and Chabad Poskim.
SCP-Chabad is currently in 16 communities around the world. If you’d like to discuss bringing SCP-Chabad to your community please reach out to [email protected].