A “retreat” is defined as a period of group withdrawal for the purpose of study, contemplation, meditation, etc. SAGE traditionally holds a retreat every few years at a resort within 100 miles of Los Angeles. In the spring of 2016 it was held on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 through lunch on Friday, April 1, 2016. Members traveled to the American Jewish University Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, the same location where we held an extremely successful retreat in 2012. This facility is located about a half hour from the San Fernando Valley.

The purpose of having a retreat is to provide a chance to enjoy a stimulating couple of days, meet new people, and establish great friendships in a beautiful relaxing setting close to home. The schedule included morning exercise, group discussions on thought-provoking subjects, and a play reading of the Daphne Du Maurier classic Rebecca, as adapted by Cal Torrance and his committee.

Laura Gold was instrumental in getting Grant Gochin as our keynote speaker. As a result of Grant’s research into what happened to his family in Lithuania and his quest for legal status as a citizen of Lithuania, he authored Malice, Murder, and Manipulation: One Man’s Quest for Truth published in 2013. Grant presented a compelling and well documented saga of one Jewish family’s deportations, starvation, death, abductions, and journey. He analyzed the implications of heritage citizenships for past, current, and future generations.

We also tried something new and different. Ellie Grayer led two improvisational workshops and Reuben presented a new photomontage of SAGE activities.