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Stanford Senate Candidate Questioned About Jewish Identity

Student filed complaint after interview for campus group endorsement

Tal Trachtman Alroy
April 14, 2015
Stanford University. (Ken Wolter /
Stanford University. (Ken Wolter /

One month after a similar incident occurred at UCLA, a Stanford University student running for student Senate was reportedly questioned over whether her Jewish faith would impact her decision making during an interview for a campus group’s endorsement. Molly Horowitz, a junior, was one of several candidates selected to interview with the Students of Color Coalition, an umbrella group representing six student organizations, which endorses candidates for the student Senate. Horowitz filed a complaint with the student elections commissioner shortly after her March 13 interview, the Stanford Review reports.

According to Horwitz, an SOCC member asked, “Given your strong Jewish identity, how would you vote on divestment?” (The student Senate had recently approved a resolution in favor of the school divesting from companies that “violate international humanitarian law by: maintaining illegal infrastructure of the Israeli occupation… facilitating Israel and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians… [and] facilitating state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian or Palestinian Authority security forces.”)

Ms. Horwitz told the Stanford Review that after requesting clarification on the question, the SOCC member asked whether her Jewish identity (Horwitz said she identified as a proud Jew and South American in her endorsement application) would influence her decision making if elected.

Horowitz, a Paraguay native who lived in Milwaukee before coming to Stanford, said she told the group she disapproved of the vote, but “reiterated both her belief in the Senate’s democratic system and her hope for a peaceful Middle East.”

Horwitz has requested a public apology from the student group. When approached by school administrators, SOCC members reportedly offered a different account of the interview.

In February, controversy erupted after UCLA student Rachel Beyda was questioned about her Jewish faith and its potential influence on her decision making during a confirmation meeting for her nomination to the student council’s judicial board.

Tal Trachtman Alroy is an intern at Tablet.