SCP-Chabad Takes Off in Eretz Yisroel Despite the War 

As over 40 Lubavitcher communities, with over 1500 weekly talmidim, begin a six-month in-depth course on Hilchos Tahara, 4 groups in Eretz Yisroel are keeping their ironclad commitment despite missiles flying overhead 

As over 40 Lubavitcher communities, with over 1500 weekly talmidim, begin a six-month in-depth course on Hilchos Tahara, 4 groups in Eretz Yisroel are keeping their ironclad commitment despite missiles flying overhead 

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 200 locations, with over 3,000 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) – now available in 3 languages, 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 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.” 

Rabbi Yisroel Altein of Chabad of Squirrel Hill, PA that has incorporated the class into his Chabad Houses 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 Gemara through contemporary poskim and practical application.”

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.”

Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht, who directs Chabad of Ulter County, NY has been teaching the classes for over a year to many beginners that are looking for a more advanced learning curriculum. He describes the class as follows: “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.”

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 (starting after Pesach) will include the topics of Hilchos Birachas Henehnin and Netilas Yadayim. 

A special Chabad On Campus version of SCP-Chabad called HalachaU is being piloted in over 30 Chabad houses this past semester. 

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


Rabbi Shaya Gopin – Melbourne, Australia 


Rabbi Mendel Gurary – Antwerp, Belgium


Rabbi Yechiel Baitelman – British Columbia, Canada 

Rabbi Berel Bell – Montreal, Canada

Rabbi Y. Botnick – Ottawa, Canada 

Rabbi Tzemach Raskin – Montreal, Canada

Rabbi Levi Blau – Toronto, Canada

Rabbi Levi Zaltzman – Toronto, Canada 


Rabbi Mendel Cohen – Manchester, UK

Rabbi Chaim Hoch – London, UK

Eretz Yisroel 

Rabbi Berger – Migdal Haemek 

Rabbi Gorenstein – Tzefas 

Rabbi Chaim Gluchowski – Ramat Gan Eretz Yisroel 

Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin – Petach Tikva, Eretz Yisroel 


Rabbi Don Lokshin – Moscow

Rabbi Yossi Marzal – Moscow 

South Africa

Rabbi Nesanel Schochet – South Africa 

United States 


Rabbi Dovber Dechter – Phoenix, AZ


Rabbi Dovid Shmukler – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Mendy Cohen – Sacramento, CA

Rabbi Sholom Heidingsfeld – Simcha Monica, CA

Rabbi Avrohom Zajac – South La Cienega, CA


Rabbi Avi Dagan – New Haven, CT

Rabbi Mendel Posner – New Haven, CT


Rabbi Yossi Marlow – North Miami Beach, FL

Rabbi Eli Philips – Hallandale Beach, Florida

Rabbi Mendel Edelman – Lauderhill, FL


Rabbi Mendy Weinberg – Atlanta, GA 


Rabbi Moshe Markowitz – Chicago, IL


Rabbi Koppel Zirkind – Postville, IA


Rabbi Moshe Slavaticki – Baltimore, MA


Rabbi Shneur Silverberg – Detroit, MI

New Jersey 

Rabbi Chaim Schapiro – Morristown, NJ

New York 

Rabbi Mottel Rubin – Albany, NY

Rabbi Yankel Raskin – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Shlomie Greenwald – Crown Heights, NY

Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht – Ulster County, NY

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kagan – Monsey, NY

Rabbi Asher Webb – Remsen, NY


Rabbi Betzalel Bassman – Pittsburgh, PA

Rabbi Mendel Goreman – Kingston, PA

A special Chabad On Campus version of SCP-Chabad called HalachaU is being piloted in over 30 Chabad houses this past semester. 

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

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