When Yonah Biers-Ariel said “no” to a bar mitzvah, his father came up with an unorthodox alternative: All four family members would bike across the country together. With two of them riding the “beast,” a tandem bicycle prone to flat tires, they peddled their way through the Rockies, heated discussions of religious identity and fascinating chats with locals. Matt Biers-Ariel, a teacher from Davis and Yonah’s father, is touring with his book “The Bar Mitzvah and the Beast,” discussing the family’s life-altering journey in 2007 and sharing stories of the road.
Tuesday, Aug. 7 at REI, 2715 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, Wednesday, Aug. 8 at REI, 840 Brannan St., S.F., and Thursday, Aug. 9 at REI, 1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. All events begin at 7 p.m. Free. www.rei.com.
“Ultra-Orthodox Society.” Talk by Shlomi Doron, Israeli professor of anthropology at Ashkelon Academic College, on religious society in Israel and the United States. At Congregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave, Palo Alto. 1:15 p.m. Free. www.kolemeth.org.
Jewish LGBT Network mixer. Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, executive director of Equal Ground, an American Jewish World Service grantee, discusses LGBT rights in Sri Lanka. At Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia St., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP at www.ajws.org. (See story, 4)
“Beit Ha’am.” Morning of programs on Zionism presented by the World Zionist Organization. At WZO office, 1333 Balboa St., Suite 2, S.F. 8:45 a.m. Free. www.izionist.org/na/beit-haam-3.
Book talk by Mani Feniger. Author discusses “The Woman in the Photograph: The Search for My Mother’s Past” on her 20-year project reconstructing the life of her German-Jewish mother. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 3 p.m. Free. www.afikomen.com.
Conversation on Proposition 34. Jewish War Veterans, Post 60, sponsors talk on initiative to replace the death penalty with life with no chance of parole. At Moldaw Family Residences, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 11 a.m. Free. (650) 223-7187.