Prayer was offered by:
Guest Chaplain Rev. Dr. Pamela Anderson, Countryside Church of Esparto
I had a friend in high school by the name of Suzanne who played golf. One day as she was getting ready to tee off, she accidentally tapped the ball and as you may know in golf, this is technically considered a stroke. However, she was at the first hole, and at the first hole this mistake does not count. You get a do-over; a second chance. Do you know what this is called? Itís called a mulligan. Guess what happened when she swung the golf club next? She got a hole in one. The glory could not have counted had she not received that mulligan. My dear senators, it is our hope that the decisions you make in this room today will help all Californians to have a second chance for a better tomorrow.
Let us pray:
Gracious and loving God, we pray for our senators today and for their deliberations. We ask for your blessings upon them and may they know the gratitude we have for their work. As they work through their agenda today may they feel your presence and give them guidance to strengthen this great state of California. This prayer we pray,-AMEN.
Rabbi Mona Alfi
Rabbi Mona Alfi is fueled by a passion for working with other faith and ethnic groups to build bridges between
different communities and come together to create a more just and loving society for all of God's creations.
Rabbi Alfi believes that the purpose of religion is not only to help us get closer to God, but in getting
closer to God, we become motivated to become more engaged in people's lives and the world in which we live.
Finding opportunities for religion and social action to meet have been central to her theology. Throughout
rabbinical school Rabbi Alfi participated in both local and national programs that brought seminary students
of different faiths together to learn from each other. Upon ordination from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish
Institute of Religion in New York, Rabbi Alfi returned to her native California where she served as the Associate
Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel for five years. Rabbi Alfi was appointed Chaplain for the California State
Assembly for two terms, serving from 1998-2002. From 2003-2006 she served as the Executive Director of the Hillel
at Davis and Sacramento where she worked with college and graduate students and was very involved in interfaith work
in Davis. She returned to Congregation B'nai Israel as their Senior Rabbi in 2006. Rabbi Alfi was appointed Chaplain
of the California State Senate in August 2008.
As the spiritual leader of Congregation B'nai Israel, Rabbi Alfi hopes to continue the legacy of the rabbis who preceded
her in fostering a caring faith community that is engaged in prayer, life long study, and social justice. Founded in
Sacramento in 1849, Congregation B'nai Israel is the oldest congregation on the West Coast. Rabbi Alfi is the fourth
rabbi from B'nai Israel to serve as the Senate Chaplain.
Rabbi Alfi was ordained in 1998 by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York, and
received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters at HUC-JIR's Los Angeles Campus in 1996. Rabbi Alfi received her BA from
San Francisco State University in 1991. She has published prayers and articles, as well as an essay about the 1999 fire
bombing of B'nai Israel in "Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul."
Rabbi Alfi and her husband live in Sacramento with their two sons who are fifth generation Californians.