We're Building a Dream.

The dream is a widespread implementation of our effective,
formalized and carefully supervised programs in "table tennis
therapy" through an exclusive approach dedicated to enhancing
the lives of individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

The dream is a sophisticated facility for individuals with various forms
of dementia, seniors and baby boomers that specifically promotes
1) mental stimulation, aerobic physical activity, and fun through table tennis
2) provides an exciting social sanctuary from the rest of the world
rather than simply a "way station" to pass the day.

The dream is a unique facility for both "at-risk" and children from
low-income homes as well as developmentally and physically
disabled children to find a "home away from home."
Our unique "Yes, I Can" Programs enable them to create
a new "positive identity" through specially designed
table tennis (ping pong) activities that provide individual
nurturing and highly focused attention.

The dream is the creation of the most advanced U.S. Table Tennis Training Facility
for future Olympic Junior Table Tennis athletes in the United States.

“The Sport and Art Educational Foundation is a dream that creates a future.”

The Vision

The Sport and Art Educational Foundation is the product of the passionate
vision of Mikhail Zaretsky, President of SAEF.

Born in 1961 in Gomel, Belarus (formerly the USSR), Zaretsky began
his training as a table tennis player at the age of 8 years old. His abilities
as a gifted player were so evident that he played in
his first tournament at the age of 9.

For the next 10 years, Zaretsky endured the most rigorous
training imaginable. Typical training sessions, as in most countries
where the game is a national pastime, would run for a minimum of 3-4 hours,
four to six days a week. As a result, at the age of 17, Mikhail Zaretsky won
the distinguished Belarusian Junior Championship. By the time
he turned 22, he had become a professional coach dedicated to passing
on his appreciation of this most remarkable game not only to young
children - but as a beneficial and social activity for the elderly as well.

The concept for The Sport and Art Foundation is born from
Mikhail Zaretsky's wonderful passion, his deep and abiding belief that
“table tennis / ping pong” not only provides a gateway to a healthier
physical life, but to a deeper and richer understanding of ourselves.

In 2007, Mikhail Zaretsky added to his many achievements by establishing
the Sport and Art Educational Foundation, an innovative non-profit
organization designed to benefit those afflicted with early stage
Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Jane Libman Director of Grants & Programs
Jane Libman serves as the Grants and Program Director for the Sport and Art Educational Foundation. A graduate of the Grantsmanship Training Program (sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation, the Grantsmanship Center, and the California Community Foundation), Ms. Libman is directly responsible for providing oversight and organization for our fund-raising activities, the pursuit and establishment of annual government grants, general public relations for SAEF, and further, acts as a Program Supervisor to monitor the fiscal management and general efficacy of our numerous programs.
Steve Kunimoto Senior Program Director
Steve Kunimoto has been a dedicated table tennis player for over 14 years and has been crowned a California Doubles Champion a remarkable nine times. Voted Coach of the Year at the Gilbert Table Tennis Center in Los Angeles in 2008 and 2009, his engaging manner and expertise as a teacher of the game is widely known. In particular, his unique skill in the area of coaching children is considered to be extraordinary. Mr. Kunimoto acts as the Head Training Coach for the Sports and Art Educational Foundation Juniors Programs.
Sooyeon Lee Program Director
Sooyeon Lee, one of our most sought after coaches, is currently ranked # 9 among women's table tennis players in the United States. Born in Pusan, South Korea, Sooyeon Lee won the prestigious New Zealand Women's Championship in 2004. She also played on the Korean National Team during the years 1999-2001, after having won the Korean National Junior Championship several times as a member of the Korean National Junior Team during the years 1991-1997. Ms. Lee holds a Masters Degree in Sports Psychology and a Physical Education Degree from the Korean Sports University. Ms. Lee is a certified USATT Table Tennis Coach.
Kundan Ghimire Program Director
Kundan Ghimire, born in Nepal, began playing table tennis at the young age of 9 years old. At the age of 13, he played in the All India National Championship winning the Bronze Medal in the Team Championship category. In 2001, he placed 3rd in the Under 14 Boys Category at the North India Juniors Championship and from 2001 to 2005, representing his school, continued to compete as a young player winning various Regional Championships. He later also represented his state in the Indian National Championships. Once having moved to the United States, he won in the Boy's Category in the California State Open and again in the California Golden State Open.
Elie Zainbudinova Program Director
Elie Zainbudinova, one of the finest table tennis coaches in the Los Angeles area, began playing the game when she was only eight years old. In 1999-2000, she became ranked as the # 1 women's player in her home country of Kazakhstan. Ms. Zainbudinova, while currently providing expert training lessons for all age groups and skill levels, also supervises and provides training for the Sports and Art Educational Foundation Juniors Training Programs. Ms. Zainbudinova, a champion in her own right, is currently ranked as one of the top women's players in the United States.
Bella Livshin Program Director
Bella Livshin has been a table tennis coach since 1968. As a player, she has won numerous U.S. Open and U.S. National titles in the Over 50 and Over 60 age groups. Ms. Livshin began coaching the Los Angeles Junior Maccabi team as early as 1995 and due to her success as their valued coach, still holds the position today. Ms. Livshin also serves as a coach at the Santa Monica City College table tennis programs. Her passion, experience and skill for the game is unparalleled, and aside from being an extraordinary certified USATT Table Tennis Coach and player, she is one of the most respected members of the Sport and Art Educational Foundation faculty.
Bernard Semerdjian Senior Designer
Bernard Semerdjian serves as the SAEF Senior Designer. Mr. Semerdjian, a gifted Honors Alumni from the Mt. Sierra College of Art and Design, is the creator of the beautifully designed animated rendition of the proposed Sport and Art Educational Foundation Facility that appears on our website. Specializing in 3D Imaging and Interactive Digital Interface Design at his company, Semerdjian Design, Mr. Semerdjian has also been a dedicated table tennis player for the past four years. We are grateful for his exemplary work on behalf of the Sport and Art Educational Foundation.
Kenrick Tjiputra Art Director
Kenrick Tjiputra serves as the Sport and Art Educational Foundation Art Director. Mr. Tjiputra has a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Art in Communications from Otis College of Art + Design. Mr. Tjiputra is responsible for the overall visual look of the SAEF Foundation, its imagery and SAEF site construction from its inception. His skill and expertise in constructing and designing our web site has been a significant contribution to the Sport and Art Educational Foundation.