It's easy to be a Jew on the Westside or in the West Valley. The nonobservant or even the alienated can be part of the Jewish ambience, especially in places like Pico-Robertson or parts of Ventura Boulevard.
It's different in the Southland's far suburbs. Elections aren't swung by the Jewish vote nor are hotel banquet rooms full of Jewish political contributors. There is a scarcity of Jewish religious, educational and cultural institutions and even delis.
It was my third funeral of the week, and I was tired of death. I thought this one would be easier than the others,since it was an elderly woman who suffered terribly and truly wanted to die. Her name was Sarah; her only relatives left were her nephew, Harry, and his son, Joel.