A genetic mutation, Yizkor Service, the Sound of Music, and more!

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from me in awhile. Well, I have been immersed in an extraordinary time of renewal…


It started in January, when I learned that I carry a common genetic mutation called MTHFR and began taking L-methylfolate, the simple cure. About a month after I started taking it, I felt enormously better in a multitude of ways. My depression lifted, the cobwebs cleared from my brain (although I didn’t realize it felt like there were cobwebs in my brain until they went away), and profound evening cravings for salt and sweet disappeared, allowing me to begin losing weight. I am no longer methylfolate deficient, and I just feel better from head to toe.

[You should know that 40% of the population carries the MTHFR genetic mutation. Look up the long list of ailments affected by the mutation, and if something looks familiar, get yourself tested! It’s a simple blood test. But be aware that many physicians are not yet familiar with this issue and you may find yourself having to explain it to your doctor. Although this information has existed since the human genome was mapped 16 years ago, awareness has been very slow to spread. Why? I believe it’s because it is in no large, resource-rich corporation’s best interest for people to learn about it and reduce their healthcare needs and costs. Don’t get me started.] 

But back to my extraordinary time of renewal…. 

[ And don’t be alarmed by the photos – they are purely for your entertainment pleasure!! 🙂 ]

The sound of music

In April, I decided to audition for a musical theater production for the first time in decades! Musical theater is something I used to love doing but hadn’t been able to do in all the years I served as Cantor for area synagogues. I set my sights on a professional production of The Sound of Music being staged by Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham MA, and much to my delight, I was cast in the Nunsemble of this terrific production! Yes, my first musical in over 30 years and I was cast as a nun. Oh, the irony. 

Spring Yizkor service
Also in April, Ahava livestreamed our first ever spring Yizkor (memorial) service. Traditionally, Yizkor is recited 4 times per year, including on Yom Kippur and at the end of Passover. It meant a great deal to be able to offer this, and many Ahava supporters were glad to have the opportunity to hear their loved ones named in remembrance. 

Women Cantors Network Conference!
In June, I was blessed to once again attend the annual Women Cantors Network conference, where all attendees receive an unbridled infusion of love and support from their sisters-on-the-bimah! My cup is always empty
when I arrive, and always utterly overflowing when I depart.
Kol Isha 
songs and settings of prayers

Kol Isha In addition, this year WCN saw the publication of “Kol Isha” (Voice of a Woman), a compilation of musical compositions written by members of WCN.

a Hebrew song 
women cantor network service

The Hebrew Counting Song I’m delighted to share that Kol Isha includes my own “Hebrew Counting Song”, which teaches how to count to 20 in Hebrew. How exciting to see it in print!


The Hills Were Alive with The Sound of Music!

Finally, intensive rehearsals began near the end of June for The Sound Of Music’s July 11th-21st run. It was both surreal and wonderful to be rehearsing and then performing a show after decades away! It was so much fun, I felt like I was at camp. I had a truly fabulous time, and can’t wait to audition for the next one. It won’t take me decades this time. 

Sister Jacqueline? Cantor Jacqui? Sistah Cantah? You decide!

The Year to Come!

As I emerge from a month of immersion in the show and this extraordinary season of renewal, I feel excited for the year ahead! 

Ahava plans to continue our successful “Shabbat Live or Later!” livestream services, including another spring Yizkor service for those with loved ones to remember. 

Love is in the air for the Jewish and Interfaith wedding couples on Ahava’s calendar for the coming year! Ahava’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah students are studying hard, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah families are busy helping to craft their upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies

Ahava is hard at work preparing for the High Holidays. We have a beautiful new location for our High Holiday services this fall, and I look forward to seeing many of you there! Those with loved ones to remember will have your next opportunity to do so at Ahava’s acclaimed Yizkor service on Yom Kippur afternoon.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and expect regular communications from Ahava once again. Get yourself tested for the MTHFR genetic mutation – 40% of you will be very glad you did. 

It’s going to be a wonderful new year! 


Cantor Jacqui

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