1,500 are expected at YADs Latke Ball on Thursday

As in a fairy-tale romance, he spotted her from across the room at the annual Chanukah bash, sponsored by the Young Adults Division of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.

He came over, told a joke or two and struck up a surprisingly easy conversation. The rest of the evening they hung out together, blissfully dancing and talking the night away.

Two years later the couple, who are in their mid-30s and live in San Jose, are still going strong.

Billed as the hippest evening for young Jews during the holiday season, this years event, called "The Latke Ball II (this ain't no silent night)," is slated for Thursday, Dec. 23 at Club Ten 15, in San Francisco. Held in five rooms with five different parties, the ball will spotlight the popular '80s cover band Tainted Love, which headlined last year, along with DJ Splesh, covering house and techno grooves. It will also feature a live jazz quartet.

Last year's Latke Ball attracted some 1,200 people. According to YAD staff, a record-breaking 1,500 are expected to show this year.

In keeping with YAD's goal of helping those in need, there will be a warm coats drive at the door, along with information about the social, Judaic and philanthropic opportunities YAD offers for couples and singles, ages 21 to 40.

"The Latke Ball provided a wonderful alternative to the traditional Jewish Christmas consisting of a movie and Chinese food," said Weinberg. "I couldn't believe the turnout. I have never been to an event that attracted so many young Jewish adults. I caught up with a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while."

Added Offenhartz: "We sometimes joke that we could be a poster couple for YAD. But the truth is, neither one of us ever really thought of the Latke Ball as a singles event. In fact the next year we returned as a couple."