May 22, 2024
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OU’s Semichas Chaver Program Expands

Nearly 100 groups now participate internationally.

(Courtesy of OU) The Orthodox Union’s Semichas Chaver Program, the popular practical halacha learning initiative, has kicked off its latest season with 23 additional learning groups, bringing the program’s total to 96 across the globe. This series of learning focuses on practical halacha surrounding Shabbat, including laws related to cleaning garments, opening packages, sorting and other household issues.

Founded in 2017 by Rav Elyada Goldwicht, the Semichas Chaver Program is an innovative, fast-paced and interactive halacha learning program crafted for the needs of the 21st century, with a specialized focus on the practical meaning of Jewish law. Each shiur includes thought-provoking questions and a dedicated segment on the philosophical meaning behind the relevant topic. Through periodic exams, students are able to hone their knowledge while working toward certificates of completion from Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Rav Hershel Schachter.

The new groups were formed in Baltimore; Cherry Hill; Lakewood; Miami; Oceanside, New York; Passaic; Phoenix; Sacramento: Scottsdale; and Toronto. Additional groups are joining the worldwide program from Israel, South Africa and Australia. For information on joining, or to organize your own local group, please feel free to reach out via: [email protected].

“SCP has changed the conversations in our communities. Instead of talking about business, sports and politics, participants are discussing what they have learned in their homes, at work and even in the park,” said Rav Goldwicht. “The incredible success of Semichas Chaver is hugely attributed to the most amazing SCP rabbeim in each location.”

“It is nothing short of inspiring to watch the growth of this program from a few shiurim to a near hundred worldwide,” said OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “The Semichas Chaver Program is not a ‘lean-back-and-listen’ Torah class, but a very active and participatory experience where everyone is individually engaged in learning and applying the practical halacha. The passion for learning that it has engendered is striking and goes far beyond the weekly shiur, with participants sharing their learning at home with their families and engaging more in their Judaism.”

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