A professor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University has recently become an internet sensation after a photo of him holding a baby while lecturing captured the hearts of people all over the world.
Sydney Engelberg, who has spent 45 years of his life as an educator, was teaching a master’s degree program to mostly older students when a baby started crying in the middle of his lecture.
The embarrassed mom started to leave with her crying baby, but was stopped by Engelberg, who took the infant in his arms, calmed it down, and went right back to teaching his organizational behavior class without missing a beat.
That is how he spent the rest of the lecture: baby in one arm, the education of his students safely nestled in the other.
Apparently, this isn’t an isolated incident: the 67-year-old social psychologist is used to his female students bringing their children to his lectures when babysitters become unavailable. Sometimes they even breastfeed while in class.
“There’s a lot of young moms and a lot of them have babies, and he encourages them to just bring their babies to class,” said Sarit Fishbaine, the professor’s daughter.
“The way he sees the concept of getting education is not only learning the dry facts that you need to learn in class,” his daughter added, “but also learning values. And that’s the very important message that my dad wants to endow to the world.”
Engelberg’s approach has attracted the respect and admiration of his students, and he regularly receives love letters, according to the professor’s wife Fredi Siskind.
It’s not hard to see why.