who we are
We are a growth-oriented group of Houstonian Jewish Young Professionals in our 20's and 30's looking to connect to our heritage in a warm and inclusive atmosphere with a focus on positively impacting ourselves, our communities and each other. We offer a wide array of programs, classes, trips and events that are both social and educational in nature. Everyone is family at J-HYPE!
J-HYPE was founded in 2019 with the goal of connecting Houston’s Jewish Young Professionals community together and providing a space and platform for inclusivity, leadership, Jewish learning, and growth. We feel that our heritage is rich with wisdom that can positively impact our lives and our relationships. Everyone is welcome at J-HYPE, regardless of background, affiliation or denomination in Judaism. If you like being around other young Jews, and are looking to learn and grow, you’ll feel right at home with us! Our model capitalizes on the camaraderie created on trips, the warmth of the Shabbat table, and the invigorating interactive Jewish discussions among peers. With many community resources at our disposal, the sky's the limit! Join our community and be a part of the magic.
Rabbi Johnny Ouzzan
Founder & Director
Rabbi Johnny grew up in Toronto, Canada in a French Sephardic family, the eldest of six boys. The schooling system and community prompted him and his family to take on greater Jewish observance, eventually leading Rabbi Johnny to enroll in a full-time Yeshiva in Jerusalem known as Kol Torah.
In 2010, after studying in the Yeshiva for 5 years, Rabbi Johnny married Devorah Lugassy, also from Toronto, after which the couple decided to move back to Israel and invest the first few years of their married life into Jewish learning and education. Upon culminating an intensive 3 years of Rabbinical study at the Jerusalem Kollel led by Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits, Rabbi Johnny received his Rabbinic ordination and was offered a job in Houston, Texas to serve as Assistant Rabbi for Congregation Beth Rambam, and Director of Young Professional Outreach for TORCH. After 5 and a half years at TORCH, Rabbi Johnny transitioned into a full-time marketing and outreach position with Congregation Beth Rambam and founded J-HYPE - Jewish Houston Young Professionals Experience.
Find Rabbi Johnny at your local coffee shop or at Beth Rambam giving classes or schmoozing with Jewish YP's and students.
Devorah began her teaching career as an Early Childhood teacher in Toronto, Canada. She completed her four year Bachelor ’s degree in Social Development Studies from Waterloo University and has taken many professional development courses and classes in education. Devorah has found her passion working as a Judaic studies teacher for elementary grades and has over 9 years experience educating children. Devorah now serves as the youth director at Congregation Beth Rambam and runs kids programming on Shabbat and the holidays together with Rabbi Johnny.
Devorah is the director of Camp Ruach, a Jewish summer camp, and is the Director of Beth Rambam’s Sunday Hebrew School Program and is a proud mother of four incredible children.
Taste her delicious food at your next J-HYPE Shabbat dinner!
Rus Wersing, a native of Northern California, finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in music performance. Upon graduation, she moved to Israel where she studied and worked at Neve Yerushalayim and began pursuing her Masters in Music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music.
While in Israel, Rus met her incredible husband, Aaron, who was studying in Yeshivat Nesivos Ahron. Rus taught in several Israeli high school music conservatories and performed with local Jerusalem orchestras before accepting a position with jInternship.com where she worked as an Internship Coordinator for three years.
In 2013, Rus moved with her husband and daughter to Houston, TX, for Aaron to pursue a career in law. Three years later, Rus was recruited by Aaron’s federal employment law firm, Pines Federal, where she works as the Disability Department Supervisor. Rus enjoys long-distance running and cycling, Jewish self-development courses, and most of all spending time with her husband and three rambunctious kids.
She is excited to have joined the J-HYPE team working with Jewish young professionals in Houston. Join Rus for Shabbat meals at her home or on Monday evenings for one-on-ones or group learning!
Rus can be reached at her email address,