Reflections on high school graduation from the COVID Class of 2021

King David High School's graduating class of 2021. (Jocelyne Halle Photography)

The graduating class of TanenbaumCHAT, a Jewish high school in Toronto, comprises 196 students who haven’t actually set foot in their school building for most of the school year. Contrast their experience with those of Grade 12 students at Vancouver’s King David High School: there, 58 British Columbians have been attending in-person classes all year, albeit with masks on.

The COVID pandemic has upended high school students’ final years, no matter what part of the country you look at. Yet their experiences have still varied wildly. From grad ceremonies to prom, yearbooks to final exams, grad students in 2021 had an unforgettable year—for all the wrong reasons.

On today’s episode, we invite groups of students from both schools to reflect on the tumultuous year that was, compare lockdown life between Ontario and B.C., and predict how the pandemic will change their futures.

What we talked about:

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. Find more great Jewish podcasts at

The best is yet to come.

This website—the one you’re on right now—is just the tip of the iceberg. The CJN is building a whole new platform, which will be launching summer 2021. Jewish Canadians will be able to find community events, listen to relevant podcasts, connect with national networks and, of course, read breaking news stories, in-depth analysis and unique perspectives that matter. Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on social media, to be the first to see our newest iteration go live.