WRITER, JOURNALIST, poet, singer and lecturer Ofra Elyagon, who was a longtime colorful figure in Tel Aviv and administrator of the Lerner Fund, which she used to support and encourage projects to promote Yiddish language and culture, died a year ago and was buried in Tel Aviv’s historic Trumpeldor Cemetery. Last Friday, in a ceremony organized by her children, primarily her daughter Talma Elyagon, a well-known songwriter and author, to mark the first anniversary of Ofra Elyagon’s death, many friends and people who had benefited from her generosity gathered, not to weep but to celebrate her life with singing, poetry and nostalgic reminiscences.Veteran journalist Diana Lerner (no relation to the Lerner Fund), who had known Elyagon for more than half a century, revealed that Elyagon had supplied her with a taxi fund so that she wouldn’t miss out on any event because the weather was not conducive or because getting there by bus was too complicated or too far away.Talma Elyagon distributed booklets containing some of her mother’s writings, and after the memorial service, acting on instructions left by her mother, invited all those present to lunch at a restaurant in Jaffa.RESTAURANT OWNERS throughout Israel learned during the intifada that the only reliable tourists came from the Orthodox Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Parents who continued to send their children to study at yeshivot and seminaries for girls came to visit them two or three times a year, bringing other family members with them. When they went out to eat, they naturally looked for kosher restaurants, as a result of which many proprietors of non-kosher eateries decided to revamp their kitchens and go kosher. This delighted many of the religiously observant tourists because it meant that they could now eat in certain gourmet restaurants that had previously been taboo as far as they were concerned.In more recent times, it didn’t take an intifada to prompt the decision to go kosher. It simply made good business sense, which is why master chef Yonatan Roshfeld, famous for his Herbert Samuel non-kosher restaurant, decided that his new restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Hotel Herzliya would be kosher. The hotel officially opened in mid-December, and the restaurant was opened to the public this week.According to Miri Azouri, the director of marketing and sales of residences at the Ritz Carlton, the restaurant was three-quarters full on the first day. There’s a high demand for kosher cuisine in Herzliya, she said, adding that although there are several kosher restaurants in the main shopping and industrial area of Herzliya, more kosher gourmet restaurants were needed.The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya is yet another initiative of brother and sister Adi and Irit Strauss and other members of the Strauss Group, which is best known for its dairy and other food products but has expanded in many directions. This is not the first hotel venture by the Strauss siblings. Adi and Irit also own the Alma boutique hotel, located in one of Tel Aviv’s older buildings that is almost a century old and was slated for preservation. The Alma has a delightful rooftop patio restaurant, in addition to a regular intimate dining room. Because they come from a food background, Adi and Irit Strauss were initially interested in restaurants and, in partnership with Roshfeld, support and sustain the Herbert Samuel Restaurant, the Tapas Restaurant on Ahad Ha’am Street in Tel Aviv, the Alma Lounge and the Yavne Montefiore.