Mia Kline is one of many in the community afraid of being outwardly Jewish in face of the Israel-Hamas war, now in its twelfth day.
On the first day of the catastrophic conflict, she found out her 19-year-old cousin in Tel Aviv had been killed by a Hamas rocket.
Ms Kline's parents suggested she switch off her phone, but she couldn't. She was shocked by the news, then overcome by numbness. The weekend passed her by in a blur.
"Ever since October 7, I have felt emotionally drained, sometimes distressed, and often scared," the 20-year-old said. "As a Jewish person, I feel as though my whole extended family is in Israel."
Ms Kline studied at the Australian National University and felt like everything in her life - classes, extracurriculars, and friends - has been put on hold.
She said she spends several hours on Instagram everyday despite knowing its negative affect on her mental health. She said she felt a sense of responsibility to read about the Jewish community in Australia and abroad.
Ms Kline said she was worried about two of her friends in Israel who are currently serving in its defence force. She said they were either living in bomb shelters or safe rooms inside their houses. She believed they were safe but was anxious about their families.
There are about 2000 Jewish people in the capital, 77 of whom were born in Israel according to the 2022 Census.
Ms Kline said the Canberra Jewish community was grieving together by gathering at the synagogue, sharing meals, and keeping up with news updates.
A handful of friends have also joined her in saying a prayer, each night before going to sleep, for the safety of all the people in Israel.
"Unlike the larger Jewish communities in Melbourne and Sydney, there is not as much infrastructure that provides us with support or reassurance for our experience as Jewish people in Australia. Therefore, we lean on each other and each other's kindness in many ways," she said.
Ms Kline said the Australasian Union of Jewish Students in the ACT was also helping those living on and off campus by creating support spaces to vent and empathise with each other.
While the Jewish community bands together, Ms Kline feels hypervigilant and worried for their safety.
She said her peers were minimising the community's experiences and trying to justify their pain after the Hamas attacks.
"Being on campus at the moment is incredibly isolating," she said.
"I have experienced vitriol for outwardly supporting Israel in this conflict. I have experienced comments of disapproval said to me in passing at my residential college and reactions to social media posts I have shared from Jewish influencers or newspapers."
Ms Kline said she wanted to go to university without fearing intimidation by protestors and people who didn't agree with her advocating for her community.
"Some of our grandparents are the children of [Holocaust] survivors, so we have been brought up on stories of bystanders, and the consequences of communities all around the world not acting," she said.
An article in the Medical Journal of Australia states the country is home to the largest population of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel.
Recent events have proved to be source of great affliction for some of them.
One survivor, who wished to remain anonymous, said there wasn't "more anti-Semitism than usual" but there was definitely an "anti-Israel vibe".
The Canberra Times understands members of the Jewish community are grieving in private to avoid being targeted. Others in the ACT are praying for their community and memorialising the dead in weekly Shabbat gatherings.
Artist Zev Aviv, who's been on edge this past fortnight, said they too were feeling emotional.
"If you're Jewish, no matter how you're raised ... you have a bunch of the intergenerational pain that you carry all the time and at times like this, it feels extra heavy," they said.
Mx Aviv is anti-Zionist and has not experienced any anti-Semitism since the hostilities began. But they said people in their Jewish chat groups were feeling unsafe.
"They're feeling really stressed and distressed," they said.
Zionists believe in the establishment of a Jewish state in what is now Israel.
Mx Aviv said some people were interpreting criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism. The artist reaffirmed that Judaism and Zionism were not the same thing.
They also said while their queerness was warmly welcomed by the progressive Jewish community, their anti-Zionist stance was not.
"They don't care that I'm trans, but the fact that I'm an anti-Zionist is the problem," they said.
The born-and-raised Canberran's hypervigilance was also accompanied by deep grief and anger.
Mx Aviv was raised to think for themself but was strongly inspired by their grandparents - who allegedly hid the late Nelson Mandela in their garage during Apartheid times.
They said their grandparents were strongly against Apartheid in South Africa (between 1948 and the early 1990s) to the point where they needed to escape to England.
Mx Aviv was proud to carry on their legacy by carrying a sign that read "This Jew stands for Palestinian liberation" at a rally last week.
Mx Aviv called for a ceasefire saying Arabs and Jews were cousins with a shared history of being maligned, oppressed and displaced.
The artist's biggest concern alongside grief for Palestinians was sorrow for Jewish people, who they said were "blinded" by indoctrination, fear and pain.
Being aware of the unpopularity of their views, Mx Aviv said they were prepared to be unfriended by family on Facebook.
"My heart hurts for them and I'm feeling extra connected to the big network of anti-Zionist Jews across the world right now ... who are losing family members but refusing to let that pain blind them to the genocide that's occurring in our name," Mx Aviv said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.