Lectures & workshops

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God and the big bang

For Daniel Matt, modern physics and medieval metaphysics aren’t just different types of thought from completely different eras. Instead, the two can work together to help us better understand the world around us — and God. Matt, who held a position at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley until he left to translate the Zohar, will present “God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality” at Congregation Etz Chayim.

7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto. $15 in advance, $20 at the door, free for Etz Chayim members. www.etzchayim.org.


Janine Zacharia. Former Jerusalem correspondent for the Washington Post talks about the Israel-Palestine conflict with Stanford journalism professor Joel Brinkley. At the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. 12 p.m. $8-$20, free for members. www.commonwealthclub.com.


Book talk with Marty Brounstein. Author of “Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust.” At Mountain View Library, 585 Franklin St., Mountain View. 1 p.m. (650) 903-6877. Also Sept. 20 at Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Ave., S.F. 7 p.m. (415) 776-1111.


Poetry reading with Alan Kaufman. Poet and author of the memoir “Jew Boy,” at Petaluma Poetry Walk. At Graffiti, 101 2nd St., Petaluma. 5 p.m. Free. www. petalumapoetrywalk.org.


“An Evening with Scott Turow.” Best-selling author onstage with KQED Radio’s Michael Krasny. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 7:30 p.m. $22-$35. www.paloaltojcc.org/arts.

Book talk with Miko Peled. Israeli peace activist discusses his memoir “General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” At Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $5-$12. www.berkeleycitycollege.edu.


Book talk with Michael Cooper, author of the novel “Foxes in the Vineyard,” about a son searching for his archaeologist father on the eve of the Israeli War of Independence. At Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., S.F. 7 p.m. Free. www.bookshopwestportal.com.


Book talk and signing with Michael Chabon. Author of new novel “Telegraph Avenue,” at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7 p.m. Admission with purchase of book. www.bookpassage.com.


“An Insider’s Look at Iran’s Turmoil.”  Roya Hakakian, who grew up Jewish in Iran, discusses the country’s political upheaval, foreign policy and her new book, “Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.” At JCC of San Francisco, 3200 California St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10-$15. www.jccsf.org.