Generations. Our Legacy.

Whether you took part in the building of the San Jose Betsuin, grew up within its community or are a newer member – we all share many of the same fond memories – dropping off our children at Lotus Preschool for the first time, attending Dharma School or Buddhism Study Class, participating in Scouting, preserving our heritage through cultural activities, staying involved through the many Betsuin organizations and enjoying the Obon Festival every year. However, our most significant memories are of the friendships we made and our ever-growing ‘family’…our Sangha.  

As our Sangha and the community continue to grow and change, the Betsuin must plan for these needs as well as for those of our future generations. The construction of the new Dharma Center is essential to the Betsuin and the evolving needs of the community. 

It is our turn. Our legacy.

This project is the culmination of 10 years of planning. Guiding this process was an assessment of where we began, who we are today and what improvements are needed for a strong tomorrow, while aligning our vision with our core Buddhist values. The new Dharma Center addresses the needs of our Betsuin as well as our broader community. 

Recent News

Click images/titles below to read full articles.

Dharma Center Fundraising Kicks Off with a $2 Million Matching Pledge

The push to build a replacement for the Betsuin’s aging Education Building has received a big boost: a $2 million matching pledge supported by the Takeo and Miyoko Yuki family. All donations through the end of the year to the Dharma Center project will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $2 million, meaning potentially $4 million could be contributed to the project. The pledge comes as the Betsuin on Oct. 1 officially launched

Betsuin inspired by the past in planning new building project

Inspired by the past and looking to the future, the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin is officially launching a new building project designed to serve the Sangha for many years to come. The goal of “Generations. Our Legacy” is to create the Dharma Center – a new home for Lotus Preschool, Dharma School, Japanese Language School, Scout troops, youth groups, and temple and community organizations. The Dharma Center will be nearly twice as large as

How you can help

Thanks to our many generous supporters, the campaign for the Dharma Center, the planned replacement for the old Education Building, is well underway! Since the official fundraising campaign began on October 1, 2022, donations have reached a total of more than $10.1 million!

The Dharma Center Fundraising Committee is planning a host of other fundraising efforts but we welcome all support and suggestions. Here are some of the campaign highlights so far:

  • $4M from major donors
  • $2M Matching Campaign (raising $4M) supported by the Takeo and Miyoko Yuki Foundation
  • Casino Night organized by Unite
  • Birthday Bash organized by a member of the Sangha
  • Showing of ‘No No Girl’, a film by Orange County Buddhist Church member Paul Goodman 
  • “Sentimental Journey” program performed by the Grateful Crane Ensemble with bento luncheon
  • And numerous fundraisers coordinated by our many Betsuin organizations

“The first generation Issei built the church in the middle of the depression, 1937. We, the second and third generations, should leave something for the next generation.”   

Ray Matsumoto – Betsuin senior advisor

The success of this project relies on the support of our entire Sangha and the broader community!

How you can help:

  • Consider the role that the Temple and its community plays in your family’s life and include the Dharma Center in your giving decisions – family and individual donations, pledges, periodic and annual donations, and planned giving. 
  • Help spread the word. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool and we appreciate your efforts to help us get the word out to the community that thrives in our close-knit San Jose Japantown.
  • Get involved in our fundraising efforts – offer fundraising suggestions, participate in our Temple organizations’ fundraisers and encourage others to do the same.


Expanded, customized and upgraded facilities for Lotus Preschool

1,200 sq ft multi-purpose community space with attached outdoor patio for larger open-air gatherings 

Multi-use rooms that can be furnished to accommodate Betsuin and community activities

Library with room for a research center and essential education assets

Outdoor space (approximately 30,000 sq ft) for increased parking and to accommodate community events, musical performances, markets/fairs, youth activities, physical fitness classes (tai chi, yoga, etc.).

  • ADA compliance
  • Essential safety and seismic compliance 
  • Environmentally friendly design that exceeds today’s requirements and will remain relevant for generations to come

Workshop and storage for Betsuin facilities, events and maintenance

Project Notes

Project Managers – Michael Charney and Adam Sweeney

AEDIS (San Jose experienced firm, specializing in education design)

Excel Construction (San Jose experienced firm, helping with estimating and budgeting)

Dean Osaki (fundraising consultant)

New building size: 10,721 square feet, two stories (existing Education Building is 6,135 square feet)

Project cost: approximately $16 million (has been adjusted for building schedule and completion in mid 2025)

Construction schedule: Tentatively scheduled to start in early 2025 with completion expected in mid-late 2025.

Project Updates

  • City planning and state environmental (CEQA) processes started in July 2023 with final assessments completed by mid 2024.
  • Beginning mid 2024, finalizing architectural plans and obtaining building permits will take approximately 6 months.
  • Groundbreaking expected in early 2025.
  • Construction will take 6-9 months (for the entire site).
  • The city’s stormwater drain will be extended from Jackson Street down 4th Street to reach our property.
  • Outdoor space landscaping (approximately 30,000 sq ft) is being tweaked to create adaptable spaces for outdoor activities/events, to provide more community space, and to stay within budget.