About Us

SAEF Table Tennis Therapy Program is an innovative tool designed to benefit early stage Alzheimer's individuals through carefully supervised instructions in "table tennis therapy."

Our work at SAEF is based on a Japanese clinical study, "The Effectiveness of Exercise Intervention on Brain Disease Patients: Utilizing Table Tennis as a Rehabilitation Program" conducted by Dr. Teruaki Mori and Dr. Tomohiko Sato that has demonstrated "table tennis" uniquely activates as many as five separate portions of the brain simultaneously - thus producing an increased awareness and improved state of cognition in the participants. Even Oprah's favorite physician, Dr. Mehmet Oz, dedicated a prime segment of his television show on the benefits of ping-pong, describing it as his favorite 'brain sport.' This segment can be viewed here.

SAEF has the unique distinction of being the only organization in the United States currently utilizing "table tennis" as a beneficial therapy program for patients with early stage Alzheimer's and various forms of dementia. Please visit the Jewish Journal for a detailed article about the SAEF Table Tennis Therapy Program.

Anita has a mixture of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s with a Flat Affect. When she returns from ping-pong she is much more lucid, more alive and vibrant. She is also able to participate in mental and cognitive exercise much more successfully as well as interact with other members of the group.
— Friedler, Mina - Facilitator at Senior Schai Center

Our Sense of Purpose

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 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 not only provides a gateway to a healthier physical life, but to a deeper and richer understanding of ourselves.

In 2007, the Sport and Art Educational Foundation (SAEF) was established as a certified non-profit 501(c)(3) organization designed to serve the community as a multi-purpose facility to benefit the lives of 1) senior citizens in the early stages of Alzheimer's, 2) the growing population of seniors and baby boomers whose lives have become sedentary and inactive, 3) "at-risk" children from low income families, and 4) developmentally and physically disabled children.

The SAEF also serves as a state-of-the-art professional table tennis coaching facility committed to the training and development of the next generation of U.S. Table Tennis athletes for future Olympic Junior Competition and world-class participation in the sport. 


The coaches at SAEF are world renowned. Coming from various backgrounds, each of them has reached notoriety within the table tennis ranks and actively serves others through coaching, mentorship and by helping others exceed their limitations. Our team is what makes the SAEF such an inspirational and effective tool. Learn more about our coaches here