Led by Rabbi Chaim Twerski, the Yoreh Yoreh Semicha Program covers Jewish laws dealing with the following subjects:

  • Kashrus
  • Aveilus, Burial and Bereavement
  • Taharas Mishpacha
  • Shabbos

You’ll focus on academic areas that address the needs of your chosen specialized field of rabbinic activity, such as education, public speaking, homiletics and psychology. If you are pursuing pulpit positions you will be assigned to internships with a practicing rabbi.

Course Methodology

The delivery of semicha program instruction is based on a three-year cycle of actual coursework. This enables you to join the program at any point of transition between one subject and the other, (often coinciding with the semester breaks) and remain in the program until you complete the full cycle of prescribed coursework. During the full coursework cycle, you may be involved with chavrusas, study partners, who are just starting the cycle or are in the final stages of their coursework cycle. As such, you will have the opportunity to gain from the experience of more advanced students as well as sharpen your own skills in assisting students just beginning the program.

You are directed to prepare on your own the appropriate sections of the Gemara and the Tur and Beis Yosef for each chapter in the Shulchan Aruch during the two days prior to beginning each new topic. Every day the student is responsible to prepare the Mechaber and Ramah, along with the Shach and Taz that will be discussed on the following day. In each class session the textual material will be reviewed and discussion will focus on assuring complete mastery of the daily topic. Other commentators, such as Rabbi Akiva Eger, Pischei Teshuva, Chavas Da’as and Pri Megadim will be introduced and their divergent and complementary opinions will be analyzed in-depth. The analysis of each topic/chapter will be highlighted with the practical halachic procedures and outcomes after consideration of modern Jewish legal scholarship and authorities.

After completing your coursework, you will usually spend an additional period of time reviewing the material in preparation for the comprehensive subject area examinations. The oral exams, along with class participation constitute the grade for the course. While sitting for examinations in some areas may take place concurrent with ongoing coursework in other areas, many opt to take the examinations after a period of intensive review.

Course Requirements for Ordination and Sample 3 Year Schedule

Semester Course, Subject Source, Material Method of Instruction

  • Fall Year 1: 
    333 Basar BeChalav I Yoreh De'ah, sections 92-97 Lecture
  • Winter Year 1:
    335 Ta'aruvos I Yoreh De'ah, sections 98-103 Lecture 
    334 Basar BeChalav II Yoreh De'ah, sections 87-91 Lecture
  • Spring Year 1: 
    336 Ta'aruvos II Yoreh De'ah, sections 104-109 Lecture
  • Summer Year 1: 
    351 Aveilus Yoreh De'ah, sections 340-401 Optional Lecture
  • Fall Year 2: 
    341 Niddah I Yoreh De'ah, sections 183-190 Lecture
  • Winter Year 2: 
    342 Niddah II Yoreh De'ah, sections 191-194, 320 - 322 Lecture
  • Spring Year 2: 
    343 Niddah III Yoreh De'ah, sections 195-199 Lecture
  • Summer Year 2: 
    371 Safrus Orach Chaim, sections 32-36 Yoreh De'ah, sections 270-291 Optional Lecture
  • Fall Year 3: 
    321 Shabbos I Orach Chaim, sections 253-259, 307-311, 325 Lecture 
    327 Pesach Orach Chaim, sections 429, 432, 438 Lecture
  • Winter Year 3: 
    322 Shabbos II Orach Chaim, sections 289, 314-317, 320-322 Lecture
  • Spring Year 3: 
    323 Shabbos III Orach Chaim, sections 325, 328-331, 340 Lecture
  • Summer Year 3: 
    337 Ma'achalei Akum Yoreh De'ah, sections 112-121 Optional Lecture