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.

As Cantor Jacqui says, “My soul is the place inside me where all songs begin and end.” It is abundantly clear that she feels musical prayer with every fiber of her being during each service. You will, too.

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 also 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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All donations to Ahava are fully tax deductible, including the cost of High Holy Day tickets. We thank you for your consideration and generosity.

Dear Cantor Jacqui

You have become a very important person to me. At first, I was nervous about singing in front of you, but you made me feel confident and more sure of myself. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful! Thank you for inspiring me and for being such a wonderful teacher.

-Fondly, Alex G

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

I am so lucky to have had you as my tutor. We laughed a lot, and your calm way of doing everything made me feel so comfortable and at ease about everything. I will miss coming to see you every week.

-Love, Sarah B