Global Study Program Adapts for Chabad Chassidim

The Semichas Chaver Program, an international learning program aimed to give over the basics of practical halacha to working men, has opened up a special Lubavitcher branch with learning materials adapted to fit the opinions of Chabad authorities.

Semichas Chaver Program (“SCP”) is not just a halacha course, it has become a global movement! The program, which is the brainchild of Rav Elyada Goldwicht, is three years old. Since its inception, it has grown to over 75 locations, with over 1,500 weekly participants on 6 continents. The program is generously sponsored by the OU.

SCP is an innovative, fast-paced, halacha learning program geared towards the 21st century Jew. The shiurim are interactive and include multimedia presentations that bring the halacha alive. Videos, PowerPoint Presentations, and exciting electronic quizzes are also used during the shiur to create a fun and engaging limud.

The curriculum provides the background of each halacha from the Pesukim, Gemara , Rishonim, and up until the modern-day poskim. Participants gain mastery over the most relevant and common sections of Shulchan Aruch with an emphasis on practical halachic application for our modern world.

One of the highly motivating features of the program is the series of fun and engaging questions that participants receive every week. The participants share these questions with their families around their Shabbos tables. The feedback on this has been sensational. Children love the questions and look forward every week to the lively discussions they generate around the Shabbos table.

At the end of each 5-month zman participants are encouraged to take a test on all the material learned in order to retain the information they learned. Those who pass receive a certificate signed by some of the leading Poskim in the world-affirming their mastery of the material.

At the start of 5781, Rabbi Betzalel Bassman and Rabbi Avrohom Jacks approached Rabbi Goldwicht with the idea to bring his fantastic program to the Anash community, and Chabad Houses around the world.

Rabbi Goldwicht graciously allowed the courses to be edited, by adapting the material to reflect the opinion of the Alter Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, R’ Chaim Naah, and various contemporary Chabad Poskim.

Thus Semichas Chaver-Chabad was born!

For the pilot project, there were 4 locations two in Toronto taught by Rabbi Levi Jacobson and Rabbi Avrohom Jacks, one in Pittsburgh taught by Rabbi Betzalel Bassman, and one in Monsey taught by Rabbi Chaim D. Kagan. Almost 100 participants signed up for the inaugural Chabad program, which has been an outstanding success and much more than was originally anticipated! These shiurim have almost completed the 18-week course on Hilchos Muktza.

The final psak of the topics learned by Semichas Chaver Chabad is guided by Lubavitcher Rabbonim including HaRav Gedalya Oberlander shlit”a and HaRav Yehoram Ulman shlit”a.

For each new joining location, the first course (six months) is completely sponsored.

The coming course (starting after Pesach) will focus on the practical ramifications of the most common melachos that we encounter on Shabbos.

We will only be opening 5-10 new locations for the zman beginning after Pesach. BH demand is very high and we are looking for the best magidei shiurim. If you are interested in bringing this engaging and exciting program to your community and helping your B’ale Batim reach new heights in learning and Yirei Shomayim, please contact Rabbi Betzalel Bassman betzalelbassman@gmail.com

Testimonials of the Semichas Chaver Chabad program:

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

“I truly enjoy the Smichas Chaver Chabad Program. It’s all the best parts of my experience at yeshivas, without the worry of a knas. The halachos I’m learning are practical and immediately useful. The structure and source materials provided give me access to a wide variety of fascinating opinions, while its focus on Shulchan Aruch HaRav gives me a strong foundation in the source of Chabad halachic rulings. It’s practical, illuminating, fulfilling, and even includes a weekly comic strip. I couldn’t ask for more.”
-Rabbi Dovber Naditch

“The Semichas Chaver Chabad program has been an extremely stimulating and thought-provoking, yet very practical, weekly study of the laws of muktza. The material is presented in a very systematic and understandable way and there is always a lively discussion and examination of different halachic interpretations. My wife and I especially enjoy discussing the questions that are sent each week for review at the Shabbat table. I find myself more tuned in to various muktza scenarios I might encounter on Shabbat. The Semichas Chaver program has been an especially wonderful way to study the laws of muktza and to help to understand all of the underlying principles and considerations involved in determining the halacha.”
-Mr. Reuven Hoch

“I love the balance between the lomdus and the practical Halacha”
-Rabbi L.B.

“Each Tuesday evening I attend the Semichas Chaver Chabad Program. The magid shiur explains the complex and intricate laws of Muktzeh in a lucid, engaging, and practical manner for learners of all levels and backgrounds. Drawing from multiple source texts and a wealth of knowledge on the topic, he poses thought-provoking questions, facilitates interactive discussions, and provides many helpful visual tools to communicate information.
-Mr. Dovid Hordiner

“Tatty, when are you asking us the questions about Muktzah?!”
-Sholom Jacks

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