The Brooklyn Japanese American Family Association (BJAFA) is a New York State licensed, the non-profit organization that provides parenting support to Japanese and Japanese-American families living in Brooklyn, NY and around there. Our three major areas of activity are:

  1. Teaching Japanese and Japanese-American children the Japanese language and culture
  2. Making connections among Japanese and Japanese-American families and their children
  3. Sharing information and learning to support these activities

BJAFA relies on cooperative efforts by numerous volunteers for its operations and the execution of these activities. BJAFA is always looking for new talented people to serve as activity leaders and board members. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested.



In 2005, Co-Founder, Nanae Benson’s online search for fellow Japanese moms led to the formation of the “Brooklyn Mom’s Group,” a network loosely organized around play dates. In 2006, it became “Brooklyn de Kosodate” (Parenting in Brooklyn)  – today a large community boasting over 250 member families.

With help from its members, Brooklyn de Kosodate has held periodic play dates where children of all ages and grades can gather and play together (“Whole Group Play Dates”), a Fall Athletic Festival in Prospect Park, and various types of seminars. (These activities continue to be held under the administrator, Kahori Igarashi, who is also a board member of BJAFA.)

Using these activities and networks as a base, BJAFA (Brooklyn Japanese American Family Association) was founded in 2011 by like-minded parents for the purpose of providing Japanese and Japanese-American children growing up in Brooklyn with a solid foundation in Japanese language and culture, while supporting other Japanese and Japanese American families who share similar interests.

If our efforts can be of any help to the Japanese and Japanese American families living in New York –so that we can see children smile, form lifelong connections with one another through the language and culture, and live happily – it would be a tremendous honor.

Board of Directors



Brooklyn Nihongo Gakuen (Brooklyn Japanese Language School)
Saturday Japanese language classes take place at PS261 in Boerum Hill. Classes are designed for children Pre-K or older to learn the Japanese language and culture while having fun. This activity is not sponsored or endorsed by the New York City Department of Education or the City of New York.

Heritage Language Program

Japanese as a Second Language Program

Brooklyn Japanese Parenting Portal Website: Brooklyn Benricho
We maintain a website where we share helpful parenting information in and around Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Benricho

Various Seminars
We plan and hold various parenting seminars and workshops. If you would like to receive information regarding future seminars, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Supporting Japanese Classes
There are many teachers in Brooklyn teaching Japanese language and other classes. BJAFA provides support to their activities and efforts.