But — what is “Ahava”?
“Ahava” Is The Hebrew Word For Love.
We believe the overarching purpose of Judaism, as with any religion, is to remind us to be good human beings. To treat others well. That being religious in the most important sense is to be kind and loving.
Cantor Jacqui has served Greater Boston congregations, 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. Ahava allows individuals to strengthen, explore, or find their way home to Judaism, free of membership dues.
Ahava provides different services, including Free High Holiday services, Bat and Bar Mitzvah ceremonies / tutoring, Baby Naming ceremonies, and more. Ahava proudly welcomes individuals of all Jewish and interfaith backgrounds. Here you will find spirituality expressed through traditional Jewish rituals and contemporary expressions of Jewish life and spirituality.
Since 1998, Cantor Jacqueline Breines has been one of the Jewish community’s most beautiful voices. Cantor Jacqui’s experience and genuine enthusiasm help people of all walks of life connect to Judaism in a powerfully meaningful, modern way.
More About Cantor Jacqui
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,” which 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 wonderful adult 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.