Shalom Life | May 18, 2015

Photo of Jerusalem Hebrew University Professor Making Headlines Around the World

After a baby began crying in his classroom, Professor Sydney Engelberg calmed him down, and kept teaching like nothing had happened

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: May 14th, 2015 in News » Israel

Photo: Professor Engelberg holding the baby

Credit: imgur.com / Via Sarit Fishbaine


Sydney Engelberg, a professor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, is showing there’s more to school than academics. Engelberg works at the university teaching for the master’s degree program, and has taught over the last 45 years.

“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,” explained Sarit Fishbaine, his daughter, in an interview with Buzzfeed News.

Fishbaine also explained that because there are so many new mothers in the class, Engelberg not only allows them to bring their children with them, but they’re even allowed to breastfeed in class if the occasion calls for it.

“[It’s] not something unusual,” she said of his class.

During his organizational behavior class this week one of the mothers brought her child who, in the middle of the lecture, began to cry. The young mom stood to take the baby outside, but Engelberg picked the child up, calmed him down, and continued teaching as if nothing had happened.

“My dad just loves kids and loves babies, he has five grandchildren, so he just takes the baby. He’s the one that’s in motion, he’s walking around the class. So he just takes the baby and continues teaching,” Fishbaine explained.

A photo of the professor with the child was taken and posted online, where it’s gathered attention from people around the world. The photo was made big when it was shared on Imgur, and exploded across social media not long afterwards.

“He’s gotten love letters,” said Fredi Siskind Engelberg, the professor’s wife, as quoted in the article.

Engelberg and his family were shocked when they saw the image circulating online, not understanding what the big deal was because, as his daughter explained, “[it’s] so natural for him.”

“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 continues, “but also learning values. And that’s the very important message that my dad wants to endow to the world.”

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