The conflict over Valley secession reflects the growing gap between rabbis and the actual reality their flocks experience.
Valley secession is finally on the ballot, and observers say the Jewish vote may well be a factor that tips the scale either for or against the biggest break away in U.S. history.
"We tend to constitute about 15 percent of local city voters in municipal elections," said statistician Pini Herman of Phillips & Herman Demographic Research. "Since we comprise about 5 percent of the population, that means we actually vote three times our numerical strength. It makes the Jewish community very important in the scheme of things."
It is tough to estimate current public opinion regarding Valley secession. In the two years since the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) began its investigation into the possibility of secession, the world and the people of Los Angeles have radically changed their priorities. To paraphrase Rick Blaine in "Casablanca," it doesn't take much to see that the problems of two little areas don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
Still, in interviews at locations around Los Angeles, when people had opinions about secession, it was primarily favorable.