RMHC Toronto CEO, Tania Little, shares what the holiday season means to her

For RMHC Toronto CEO, Tania Little, the holiday season is a magical time that begins with the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, in September and extends to the end of the calendar year.

“It’s all about those moments of gathering, reflecting, and sharing food together,” she says. “I have so much gratitude for being able to come together with my loved ones – whether it’s laughing, eating, and talking about the world, or getting out to play in the snow with my three grandchildren. It’s so wonderful to have time to be present with family.”

The magic of spending time together as a family is especially poignant this year, as she observes her first holiday season at RMHC Toronto.

What makes RMHC Toronto truly meaningful is that even during the most challenging times, families still experience important life moments: birthdays and the holidays still happen. It’s still important to make the space to be together and connect, and this is at the core of RMHC Toronto’s mission. We help families to still be families, even when their lives have been turned upside down.”

Tania herself comes from a very large family, which includes five children, three grandchildren, and an extended family of nearly 150 people across four generations. In her blended family, they observe Jewish traditions like Hanukkah, but also welcome the multicultural observances of extended family members, such as Christmas.

Tania’s children and grandchildren, from left to right: Emma, Olyvia, Taylor, Justin, Alex, Jonathan, Levi, and Joshua

“For us, gathering at those significant life moments is a critical part of how we stay connected as a family. Whether it’s major holidays like Rosh Hashanah, or times to give gratitude like Thanksgiving. I’m very aware that I’m a settler on this land, so we incorporate awareness of that into our traditions too, the responsibility we have towards reconciliation.”

One of the things that makes RMHC Toronto special, according to Tania, is its commitment to inclusivity. The holiday season at RMHC Toronto is a time of celebrating diversity, and we strive to ensure that all our families are represented in our meals, activities, and decorations.

In the years to come, Tania looks forward to incorporating the holiday season at RMHC Toronto into her own family traditions, starting this year by bringing in some of her family members to volunteer with holiday tasks, such as cooking and gift-wrapping, and being here alongside families that are far from home during times of tradition and gathering.

Whatever you celebrate, this holiday season, Tania, and all of us at RMHC Toronto, extend our warm wishes from our family to yours. We hope that you can take time to gather with loved ones and cherish the gift of togetherness.