Stanford University apologises for discriminating against Jews in 1950s

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Stanford University apologises for discriminating against Jews in 1950s

A newly published report concludes that the prestigious American university suppressed the admission of Jewish students 

Stanford University made the announcement this week
Stanford University made the announcement this week

Stanford University publicly apologised to the Jewish community on Wednesday after a damning report found that the university had used admissions quotas to limit the number of Jewish students in the 1950s.

The report by the task force, called A Matter Requiring the Utmost Discretion, concluded that the impact “lasted for decades, largely refracted through the understanding, popular among Jews in Southern California, that Stanford limited the number of Jews it would admit.”

In a letter to the Jewish community, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said: “On behalf of Stanford University I wish to apologise to the Jewish community, and to our entire university community, both for the actions documented in this report to suppress the admission of Jewish students in the 1950s and for the university’s denials of those actions in the period that followed.”

Tessier-Lavigne added that this “ugly component of Stanford’s history, confirmed by this new report, is saddening and deeply troubling. These actions were wrong. They were damaging. And they were unacknowledged for too long.”

Stanford has asked the panel members to recommend opportunities “to enhance Jewish life on campus, including how best to address any findings resulting from the research on admissions practices”.

The 11-member panel of the task force was headed by Ari Y. Kelman, an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education who is the Jim Joseph Professor in Education and Jewish Studies.

Kelman is a leading expert on Jewish life in America and has authored reports on antisemitism and race.

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