Prayer was offered by:
Senate Chaplain Rabbi Mona Alfi
O Author of Life and Death,
As we enter into this Memorial Day weekend, we remember the men and women who have fallen in defense of our nation.
In 1863, as America was at war with itself, President Lincoln eulogized our soldiers in what would become known as the Gettysburg Address. His words apply not just to those who died then, but to all of our soldiers who have fought for our ideals since our nation’s founding.
He said: “From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
May the memories of our soldiers always give us the courage and the inspiration to cherish and protect that for which they fought to protect, and may we never take for granted the high price of freedom. May this be God’s will--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.