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Mia Kline is passionate about the future of the ACT Jewish community. 

"The Centre is not just home to the two shul's that operate here – it is a place where everything happens – from Sunday School to book clubs."

Mia Kline is passionate about the future of the ACT Jewish community. 

The community – formally established in 1951 with the National Memorial Centre opening twenty years later- welcomes all Jewish people to Canberra and enjoys diverse religious, educational, cultural and social activities. The Centre is home to both Orthodox and Progressive congregations.

Originally from Melbourne, Mia was the head Madricha at Mount Scopus and had a proud history of volunteering in Melbourne, specifically with Friendship Circle and Flying Fox. Mia joined the ACT community a year ago when she came to study at ANU. She has found Canberra to be a unique place and feels that getting involved and making a difference as a youth leader is more accessible than in Sydney or Melbourne. Mia has made a difference in her short time in Canberra. 

She teaches Hebrew and Jewish Studies and is the Rosh of Catz, a pluralist Zionist and Jewish Youth Movement and the only operating one in Canberra. "I feel so valued in my role here," says Mia. "The parents love having young adults like me come and teach the younger kids – we're enthusiastic with different energy and a different approach to leadership and learning."

The Centre plays an integral role in Canberra Jewish communal life and serves as an essential social function for school-age children from 5-12 years of age.

Mia wishes more resources were available for the Centre, which occupies a special place in our communal landscape. "The Centre is not just home to the two shul's that operate here – it is a place where everything happens – from Sunday School to book clubs."

 

"My message to JCA supporters is biased because the future of the Canberra Jewish community depends on all of us. We need to support it and grow its future. For whatever reason, Canberra doesn't seem to be on anyone's radar unless they're coming here to university."

Mia is also involved in AUJS at ANU and sits on their Executive. "AUJS in Canberra is a space to hang out with other Jewish kids regardless of religious observance. Whether you identify by keeping Shabbes or whether it's just eating bagels on a Saturday, everyone is welcome. We meet on a Friday afternoon, and it's an opportunity for everyone to keep in touch with what's happening in the Jewish world in Canberra. It's also where we get people involved in the Community Centre – through word-of-mouth recommendations, people come and help out."

Reflecting on her hopes for the future of this community that's embraced her and that she holds close to her, Mia says, "I just hope that we're instilling pride in Jewish identity and the knowledge to express this identity in a way that works for them. It can mean going to shul every Friday night, reading Jewish literature, listening to Israeli music, and having Judaism at the forefront of their minds. And also give back to their community when they're old enough. L'Or V'Dor - because we rely on people passing the torch."