ahavaJacqueline Breines began serving Greater Boston congregations in 1998, including synagogues in Sudbury, Brookline and Sharon. During her service to these communities, the idea for Ahava was born. Over the years, many congregants expressed their desire to have a Jewish “connection” without the full-time commitment of a synagogue membership. Through Ahava, she now devotes her time to serving unaffiliated Jewish and interfaith families seeking an alternative path to connecting with Judaism.

What Cantor Jacqui loves most about Judaism is that it not only allows, but encourages us, to ask questions. With this as our starting point, each of us is encouraged to become our own kind of Jew.

Cantor Jacqui is blessed with a deep sense of empathy. Guiding families through a range of lifecycle events, whether joyous or sad, lighthearted or serious, in a manner wholly responsive to families’ particular needs and desires, is her life’s work.

With her beautiful voice, it is not surprising that Cantor Jacqui performed as a regular soloist and member of The Zamir Chorale of Boston. To hear Cantor Jacqui as recorded live in Vienna on tour with Zamir, go to http://zamir.org/shop/cds/our-greatest-hits and click on #13 “Ledor Vador.” The tour group was accompanied by a documentary film crew, and Cantor Jacqui was featured as a soloist in the resulting documentary, “Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland.” The film aired nationwide on PBS.

Raised in the Reform tradition, Cantor Jacqui’s passion for Judaism was instilled at an early age. Growing up on a small farm in rural Lebanon, NJ, the nearest Reform congregation was a half-hour drive from home. The long days spent traveling back and forth to temple, often 3 or 4 times a week, came to underscore the value of a childhood Jewish education, and she continued her studies through Confirmation.

Cantor Jacqui is blessed with three sons - Shea, Michael and David.

From 2014 - 2016, Cantor Jacqui held the office of President of the Women Cantors’ Network , and she remains a member of the WCN Board of Directors today.

Cantor Jacqui received ordination in July 2014 from the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute. She graduated with high distinction from The Pennsylvania State University’s Schreyer Honors College, and is a graduate of The Boston University School of Law and a non-practicing member of the Bar.

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Dear Cantor Jacqui

Every now and again you meet someone who changes your life. While we are sure Natasha is too young to realize it - you have changed hers. A year ago we brought you a child full of potential but lacking the confidence to realize it. You have given her that and it is a gift that should last a lifetime. By extension you have also touched all of our lives. We are forever grateful.

Michele FS & Michael F

The service was so beautiful! Jacqui, your voice is amazing. We couldn't have asked for a more meaningful service. Many people came up to us and said it was the best Bat Mitzvah service they had ever been to. Many of these comments came from Conservative Jewish uncles to Protestant and Catholic friends. Everyone felt welcome and part of the service. Thank you so much for giving Maddy the knowledge and confidence to do such an amazing job.  We are so blessed and grateful. Thank you, thank you.

Margie G

I still think of you, your special patience, sensitivity, natural intuition, and genuine understanding of Eric which enabled you to work with him so successfully. You stuck with him and influenced him to turn things around from not really wanting to do it to ‘wowing’ his family and friends. So thank you - for all you do!

Sincerely,
Barbara W