Jewish Student Under Investigation at University of California

Received donation after promising pro-Israel allegiance.

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Avi Oved, the student regent-designate nominee for the University of California system (L) and current student regent-designate Sadia Saifuddin (R). Photos via The Forward
Avi Oved, the student regent-designate nominee for the University of California system (L) and current student regent-designate Sadia Saifuddin (R). Photos via The Forward
The Forward
The Forward

The University of California Student Association will hold a meeting to discuss allegations against a Jewish student nominated to serve as a regent for the statewide university system.

UCSA’s board agreed Saturday to hold an emergency meeting to look into the allegations against Avi Oved, a UCLA student and the student regent designate nominee for the larger University of California system.

Amal Ali, a former president of Students for Justice in Palestine at U.C. Riverside, had alleged at Saturday’s UCSA board meeting that Oved failed to disclose a UCLA student government campaign donation from a pro-Israel philanthropist, The Daily Californian, U.C. Berkeley’s student newspaper, reported.

Ali pointed to an April 2013 email purportedly sent by Oved to philanthropist Adam Milstein thanking him for what was described as a “generous donation.”

At the time, Oved was running for the position of internal vice president of UCLA’s student government on the Bruins United slate.

Appearing to speak on behalf of Bruins United, Oved wrote to Milstein that the slate is “prepared to make sure that UCLA will maintains [sic] its allegiance to Israel and the Jewish community.” Oved also noted that the Bruins United slate had opposed divestment efforts targeting Israel in UCLA’s student government.

Milstein, on Monday, wrote on Twitter that neither he nor his foundation had given money to Oved or Bruins United.

The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, cited Kris Kaupalolo, the Undergraduate Students Association Council Election Board adviser at UCLA, as saying that the campus election code does not require disclosure of campaign funding sources.

As a regent, Oved would join current student regent Sadia Saifuddin, the first Muslim student representative on the University of California’s Board of Regents, which governs the public university system. Saifuddin’s appointment also met with controversy for her support for divestment from companies that do business with Israel in the West Bank.

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