Halacha-U’s Dual-Track Program Set to Start in 85 Chabad Houses

85 Lubavitch communities and Chabad Houses around the world are about to embark on Halacha classes for participants of all backgrounds using two unique tracks.

The motto of SCP-Chabad and HalachaU is “Halacha for Everyone.“ The first track, Semichas Chaver Chabad (SCP-Chabad), is mainly geared towards Lubavitch communities and Chabad Houses with a more advanced frum community and those with some Yeshiva education. It is now available in 3 languages (English, Hebrew and Russian). SCP-Chabad is a branch of the worldwide SCP program, founded by Rabbi Elyada Goldwicht and currently offered in 250 locations. The SCP Chabad was founded by Rabbi Betzalel Bassman and Rabbi Avrohom Jacks 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 an eight-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.

This past semester SCP-Chabad taught Hilchos Nida in 40 communities. It is going to be starting Hilchos Seuda (Netilas Yadayim, Pas Haba Bekisnin and Birchas Hamazon) in about 50 communities after Pesach.

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 two years 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.”

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.

The second track is tailored towards those Chabad houses attendees that have no formal experience in studying texts. It is called HalachaU and has already been piloted in over 30 Chabad Houses to much praise, from both the Shluchim and the participants.

Rabbi Shmulie Rothstein of the University of Pittsburgh comments, “I was skeptical at first with HalachaU and finding the right student. We had 7 students sign up from varying degrees of Jewish knowledge and observance.” About the material he says, “It is not watered down. Its excitement factor is that we are going through the Gemara, Shulchan Aruch and more. I start by going line by line in the source sheets and then use the slide show to make it practical. The questions and engagement I have received far more than I could have asked for.”

Rabbi Yisroel Altein of Chabad of Squirrel Hill, PA, says: “The HalachaU program is a great way to introduce Baleibatim to learning a comprehensive subject in Halacha. Written in a clear way, it guides you through the subject beginning from the Gemara through contemporary poskim and practical application.”

This past semester HalachaU taught Hilchos Melaben and Bone B’Keilim in 30 communities. It is going to be starting Hilchos Muktza in about 40 communities after Pesach.

SCP-Chabad – Two 18 week Semesters per year – learn more at SCPchabad.com

HalachaU.com – Two 8 week Semesters per year (with some additional bonus classes) – learn more at HalachaU.org

For more information regarding SCP-Chabad or Halacha please contact Rabbi Betzalel Bassman – [email protected]

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