Shalom Life | April 17, 2015

Stanford University Senate Shows Bias Against Jewish Student

A mere two months after a Jewish student candidate was asked about her religion being a conflict of interest at UCLA, a very similar situation has transpired at Stanford

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 14th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Stanford University


At the end of February, Rachel Beyda, a Jewish student at the University of California, Los Angeles, was questioned during her interview to become a member of the UCLA Judicial Board, reportedly because of her religion. Beyda was asked if her Jewishness and participation in the Jewish community would be a "conflict of interest," with several students opposing her candidacy.

The only reason Beyda was approved was thanks to a faculty member who said that it was only a "perceived conflict of interest" which could apply to anyone.

According to UCLA student government president Avinoam Baral, hearing the board discuss her candidacy was "very difficult" because they “were quite clearly biased against her because of her Jewish identity and her affiliation to the community."

The incident took place months after the UCLA student government voted to divest from Israel.

Now, a similar situation has transpired at UCLA's neighboring Stanford University, where, again, a Jewish candidate was questioned about how her Jewish faith would effect her decisions.

Molly Horwitz, a junior, was asked during her interview with the Students of Color Coalition, “Given your strong Jewish identity, how would you vote on divestment?” referring to a divestment resolution passed in February which calls on Stanford to withdraw investments in companies that do business with Israel in the West Bank.

The Paraguay-born, Milwaukee-raised Horwitz relied that she did not agree with divestment, but that she did believe in the Senate's democratic process, relaying her hopes for peace in the Middle East.

Following more questions that discussed her Judaism, Horwitz has now filed a complaint with the student elections commissioner, and is asking for an apology from the student Senate.

In her endorsement application, Horwitz made several references to Judaism, saying that she identifies "as a proud South American and as a Jew,” and that she "felt like I was not enough for the Latino community and further embraced my Jewish identity,” according to the Stanford student newspaper.

The same newspaper reports that the coalition members gave a different account of the interview, and their line of questioning towards Horwitz.

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