Undergrad Chabura

formerly, the BA/Semicha Program

 

Invest in Your Learning, Invest in Your Future

The Chabura offers interested incoming YU talmidim the opportunity to significantly expand your learning during your undergrad years. Simply put, Chaburah members opt to complete college more gradually - 3 years' worth of school over the course of 4 years. This opens up time in the afternoon for a partial afternoon seder - now you're learning 3 sedarim a day for 4 years, instead of than 2 sedarim a day for 3 years.

Moreover, in addition to increasing the quantity of your learning – an additional year learning in yeshiva, and an added afternoon seder throughout the 4 years – the Chabura expands the scope of your learning as well.  The afternoon seder is dedicated to limmud halacha be-iyun – taking relevant, intriguing areas and following them from the gemara and rishonim, through Tur and Shulchan Aruch to halacha le-ma’ase.

FAQS

➢ Isn’t this expensive? I’ll need to pay for another year of college?! Members of the Undergrad Chabura in good standing pay no tuition for the added 4th year, so cost should not be a concern.

➢So how do I both learn afternoon seder and attend college? The official afternoon seder chabura slot is scheduled between 4:30pm-6:15pm, Monday through Thursday.  You’ll seek to schedule your college classes during the other slots (e.g., 3:00pm and 6:45pm, rather than 4:30pm). 

Does this system always work exactly? It’s likely that you may have a conflict during some semesters.  For instance, say you have an unavoidable class at 4:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays.  In that case, we’ll help you find an afternoon chavrusa who has the same scheduling conflict, and you’ll learn at 4:30 on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as at a mutually agreeable hashlama time (e.g., Sundays at 2pm, or Fridays at 9am).

➢ Does the Chabura require a particular major? No. Feel free to pursue the major of your choice at Yeshiva College or at Sy Syms: mathematics, English, history, marketing, accounting, political science, psychology, and so forth.  However, at present, the scheduling demands of following two concentrations are more challenging to combine with the Chabura: pre-med and the 4-year Computer Science major.

For those interested in pursuing chinuch or rabbanus subsequently, we recommend considering the “community track” within the Psychology Major, which incorporates the opportunity to take graduate courses at Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Wurzweiler School of Social Work.  After four years you will have the quality, respected college degree you need to pursue general employment and will be uniquely prepared for your aspirations in chinuch or rabbanus.

➢ Can I also do the Post-Pesach Program? Sure!

➢ If I have been accepted to Masmidim, can I join both the Masmidim Program and the Undergrad Chabura? Absolutely.  In fact, several talmidim are presently combining both.

➢ Can I join the program after a year or more on campus? In order to lock in the discounted tuition rate (4th year free), you must elect to join the program at the beginning of your college career.  Of course, talmidim may apply to join the extra learning and sedarim at any point.

➢ Is it true that this Chabura is meant only for those planning to continue post-college to learn for semicha?  I know the Chabura used to be called the “BA/Semicha program” or the “6-year Semicha program” It is not limited. In fact, most members of the Chabura do not plan to subsequently learn for semicha.

➢ If I do plan to learn for semicha after college, does the Chabura enhance or interact with that in any way? Yes!  If you do plan to continue to learn for semicha after graduating college, you will find that learning in the Chabura during your college years will enhance your semicha limmud in several ways:

  1. You will already have had several years of experience learning halacha be-iyun before you begin to learn major topics such as basar be-chalav, and you will enjoy the sharpened skills and enhanced perspective that flow from your experience.
  2. The Chabura will enable you to learn a number of topics in far greater depth than the semicha limmud alone, including several areas (such as hilchos mezuza, yichud and bishul nochri) which are very relevant in many rabbanus situations.
  3. The Chabura bechinos you take after learning several of these areas in the Chabura be-iyun will also already cover semicha requirements in those areas.

➢ More questions? Feel free to reach out to our Rosh Chabura, Rav Tanchum Cohen at tancohen@yu.edu

Be-hatzlacha! Looking forward to seeing you at Yeshiva!