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Inaugural Chef’s Table Fundraiser Brings Together BCA Leaders, Supporters

Nov. 10 Event at JSC Benefits Dharma Forward Campaign

“You’re much taller than I thought!” 

That was a comment that was heard repeatedly as BCA leaders and influencers gathered on Nov. 10 at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, California.

After all, many of those in attendance hadn’t seen each other — outside of a virtual Zoom BCA meeting. 

The happy occasion for the in-person gathering was the inaugural Chef’s Table event, a fundraiser for the BCA’s Dharma Forward campaign. 

The high-energy evening was filled with lots of laughter, familiar hugs, chatter, and exchanges like “nice to finally meet you in person.” Seeing one another at the JSC brought a renewed sense of community. 

Dharma Forward, the fundraising campaign to ensure the future of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, was the driving force behind the Chef’s Table idea. The joint campaign for BCA and Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) is funding immediate and imminent needs. The campaign is also looking to future projects to keep Jodo Shinshu Buddhism growing in the United States.  

Because we have Dharma Forward, the IBS can keep professors.  Because we have Dharma Forward, the BCA can support ministers and the Sangha.  

In the Sangha tradition of interconnectedness and food, amazing chefs Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada, Rev. Michael Endo and Koichi Mizushima shared their talents with dishes ranging from oden to made-to-order sushi, nasudengaku, miso salmon, matsutake gohan, tri tip, and the star, salmon chazuke topped with ikura. 

The multitude of flavors were just like being transported to Japan.  

At the fireside chat, IBS President Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto and Rev. Harada were interviewed on their reflections on the importance and relevance of Jodo Shinshu. Topics included the current trends of Buddhism, whether it’s harmful or helpful to Jodo Shinshu, as well as dealing with the polarization in the world from a Jodo Shinshu perspective.  

The evening wrapped up with great entertainment by Sangha Plus, a Berkeley Buddhist Temple trio of Tony Hale, dii Lewis and Romare Uyeda-Hale.  

Thanks to the numerous volunteers from the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, the Jodo Shinshu Center, BCA staff, and UC Berkeley Nikkei Student Union (NSU). 

Special thanks to event sponsors: Bishop Rev. Marvin and Gail Harada, Glenn and Michiko Inanaga, Dr. Kent Matsuda, Jane Naito, Rick and Dolly Oishi, Sandra Takeda, Richard Uyematsu, and Ken Tanimoto, with sake pairings by Takara Sake USA. 

To support the future of Jodo Shinshu in America gifts can be made to Dharma Forward online at



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