Rabbi Elyada Goldwicht

The Orthodox Union’s Semichas Chaver Program (SCP), an innovative learning initiative, has opened 28 new locations in the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, and the United Kingdom, bringing the total number to 53 worldwide, while welcoming more than 700 new participants in the past month.

The Semichas Chaver Program is an innovative, fast-paced, interactive halachah learning program crafted for the needs of the 21st century with a specialized focus on the practical meaning of halachah. Each shiur includes thought-provoking questions and a dedicated segment on the philosophical meaning behind a given topic. Upon completion of each topic and the successful passing of a written exam, every member receives a certificate from HaRav Hershel Schachter, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, and HaRav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. The program was founded in 2017 by Rav Elyada Goldwicht, and has since grown tremendously, with more than 1,300 participants to date.

The 28 new locations include: Atlanta, Georgia; Edison, New Jersey; Woodmere, New York; Cedarhurst, New York; Lawrence, New York; Far Rockaway, New York; Los Angeles, California; North Hollywood, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Monsey, New York; Passaic, New Jersey; Phoenix, Arizona; Washington Heights, New York; Montreal, Canada; Toronto, Canada; Bnei Brak, Israel; Maale Adumim, Israel; Petach Tikvah, Israel; Pisgat Zeev, Israel; Raanana, Israel; Rehovot, Israel; Har Nof, Israel; Ramot, Israel; Edgeware, U.K.; Hendon, U.K.; and Sydney, Australia.

Semichas Chaver already runs programs in Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Maryland, and New Jersey as well as in Canada, Israel, and Chile.

“Semichas Chaver is an example of the OU’s efforts to expand Torah learning among all segments, and all ages, within the observant community,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane. “This wonderful program extends beyond the class itself to positively impact the participants’ daily learning, as well as learning with their families both during the week and at their Shabbos tables.”

“The community response to the Semichas Chaver Program has been very enthusiastic and, as a result, we more than doubled the number of chaburahs for this year,” said Orthodox Union executive vice president, Allen Fagin.

“It is incredible to see the excitement for Torah learning and the impact that SCP is having on the participants and their families. I have a tremendous amount of appreciation to the SCP rebbeim who dedicate so much of their time and effort to ensuring this program’s success,” said Semichas Chaver program founder Rav Elyada Goldwicht.


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