Beth Israel’s Smichat Chaver students celebrate their success

Back, right to left: Gabe Mandel, Rabbi Blachman, Rabbi Kelemen, Rabbi Claman, Amir Lehrer, Yannay Grenatia. Front, r to l; Shimon Leveille, Dr. Eitan Aziza, Andrew Gergley, Rabbi Kaplan, Rabbi Glatt. *Missing: Greg Pesin, Nathan Light, Howard Goldford, Mitchell Goldford.

(Edmonton) – The Smichat Chaver Program, SCP Siyium, is an exciting and innovative learning program that has recently been implemented at Beth Israel – the family shul, under the guidance of Rabbi Zolly Claman.

The learning program was started by a friend of the Rabbi’s and he was very enthusiastic to start the program in Edmonton. Two hundred and fifty people, including 11 from Edmonton, completed the first topic before Sukkot this year and took a written exam. The Edmonton group averaged a 92% on the exam.

A celebration sushi dinner was held at Beth Israel on October 27 with friends and families of the successful students celebrating the tremendous accomplishment of those students who studied and completed the testing. Following dinner, a new topic of study was started.

Howard Goldford participated in the study and spoke very highly of the Rabbi. He said, “Rabbi Claman is bringing a lot of energy and innovation to BI. He’s a wonderful new face (a Canadian with western roots to boot) in our community.”

Classes are running once a week and begin with the ethical and philosophical meaning behind the halachos of the topic. This is followed by a discussion of a number of cutting edge contemporary questions. The questions are then answered by learning through the relevant Rishonim, Shulchan Aruch and modern-day poskim (halachic authorities).

Upon completion of each topic and successfully passing a written exam, members receive a certificate of accomplishment signed by three Rabbis who are amongst the greatest Halachic authorities of our generation; Harav Hershel Schachter, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Harav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg.

Yasher Koach to the Edmontonians who are completing the program with Rabbi Claman.

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