Many American yeshiva bochrim spend 1 - 1.5 years (average) learning in Israel after high school before they enter college. I know that most of them offer credits where some of them can be transferred to various secular colleges.

I am unaware, though, of any programs that offer credits towards rabbinical semicha at a kollel such as Ner Yisra'el or something similar (i.e. - a known "accredited" Semicha program.) Are there any? If so, can you name a few or, better, point me to a web list or contact person where I can learn more?

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    Ner Israel does not have a Semicha program. You learn the material and take a test from R' Yosef Berger, and you have to pass Mishna Berura tests - if you happen to know it already, then you can take the tests that much sooner. Many Yeshivas are like that, with the possible addition of a requirement to be in the Yeshiva for a given amount of time. YU has a Semicha Program, but I don't think you can transfer anything to it. Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:00
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    @YEZ - You seem to know the Ner program / structure quite well. Are you a "grad"?
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:10
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    guilty as charged Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:12
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    @YEZ - Nothing to feel "guilty" about. They have a superb reputation. Normally, I would ask you for a contact person for more info, but as this is for my deaf son, I will prob. contact Rav Kakon, whom I believe graduated from there, himself.
    – DanF
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:22
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    There are semicha programs that work on credits? Learn something new every day.
    – MTL
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 23:21

1 Answer 1


Among other requirements, semicha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, requires two years of Talmud study. If a person studied in Israel for two (or more) years, his last year of undergraduate Talmud can also count as one of the years of Talmud for semicha. So in a sense, he is receiving credit towards semicha. I am not sure if this applies only if his undergraduate work is done at YU, or even if he obtains a Bachelor of Talmudic Literature from other places.

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    I've heard that the BTL is enough at YU
    – Avi M
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 0:23

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