Rabbi Kenny Weiss - Executive Director
Rabbi Kenny Weiss is the Rabbi and Executive Director for Houston Hillel. Kenny is also
a Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Houston. Prior to arriving at Houston
Hillel in 2001, Kenny served as a congregational rabbi in Bucks County, Pennsylvania,
and Washington, D.C. He earned a degree in Communication from the University
of California at San Diego, a Secondary Social Studies Teaching Credential from
the University of Colorado in Boulder, along with a Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters
and Rabbinical Ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
in New York. (Whew, that’s a lot of school!)
Kenny does a lot of local and national stuff to benefit Jewish life for college students
and Jewish twentysomethings, but he'd rather tell you that he's married to
Rabbi Amy Weiss, Founder and Executive Director of Undies for Everyone.
Amy and Kenny enjoy spending time with their sons, Eli and Joshua.
When he’s not hanging out with college students, you can find Kenny running around Rice in preparation for the Houston half-marathon, biking around Houston, figuring out a bouldering problem at the local rock climbing gym, or listening to the Grateful Dead while building something in his garage.
Alyssa Silva - Director of Jewston
Alyssa graduated from the University of Arizona, where she received her bachelor's degree in Religious Studies and Judaic Studies. Alyssa has lived in California, Arizona, Washington DC, and Jerusalem, and loves being able to create fun and meaningful Jewish programming everywhere she goes!
Alyssa's love of Jewish community building has grown over the years through her work at the University of Maryland Hillel and her leadership and mentorship roles within Moishe House International. Alyssa lived in Jerusalem this past year, during which she earned her Certificate in Jewish Experiential Education from the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.
When Alyssa isn't hosting a Shabbat dinner or planning the next big Purim party, she is playing softball, finding the best brunch spots in the neighborhood, or listening to live music around town.
Ellie Rips - Springboard Innovation Fellow
Ellie was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach in May of 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Human Development.
From the first week Ellie transferred to CSULB, she was incredibly involved with her campus Hillel. Ellie was a student intern for Hillel and she was also part of the Hillel student board that organized and facilitated events. Ellie also helped bring a Students Supporting Israel chapter to her campus.
Ellie has worked at her local JCC for the past five years, doing everything from working at the after-school program to being the assistant for Maccabi ArtsFest.
In her free time, Ellie loves traveling, going to the beach, seeing concerts and shows, watching baseball games, and going to Disneyland.
Nofar Salman - Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to Houston Hillel
As Houston Hillel's Israel Fellow, Nofar brings her experience and knowledge of Israel to Houston Hillel's students and young professionals. Through education, personal relationships, and involvement in campus programs, Nofar brings a nuanced understanding of Israel.
After completing her army service, Nofar earned a BA in Public Policy and Management from Beit Berel College in Israel. Nofar also draws from her experience as a Stand With Us Fellow, a youth coordinator in the Kiryat Ono Municipality, and a representative of the Student Union to the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.
Contact Nofar at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.
Barbara Dryer - Administrator
My name is Barbara Dryer and I am Houston Hillel’s Administrator. I was born and raised in New York. We moved to Texas in
1968 and although it took me a while, I do feel as if Texas is my home, particularly since my children and grandchildren live here.
I worked for the JCC for a number of years while my children were growing up. After that I went out into the corporate world and
worked at an engineering company for many years. When I left I was fortunate enough to find a position with Houston Hillel.
Since I’ve been at Hillel, I’ve taken a trip to Israel, which is one of my most memorable experiences. My hobbies, other than
spending time with my family, include reading, going to the gym, knitting, and playing bridge and mah jongg. I look forward
to many years at Houston Hillel.
Email Barbara at email@example.com.