Hebrew U Professor Picks Up Baby, Rocks The Web
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Hebrew U Professor Picks Up Baby, Rocks The Web

What would your professor do?

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

Hebrew University professor Sydney Engelberg encourages young moms to bring their babies to class.

That’s why earlier this week when a student’s baby started to cry during an organizational behavior lecture, Engelberg, not missing a beat, picked up the baby and kept teaching.

Though the occurrence was business-as-usual for Engelberg according to one of his students, the story has since gone viral.

“What’s caught people’s attention is the value statement he’s making,” said Tal Attia, a graduate student at Hebrew University and a past student of Engelberg. “He’s saying it’s not all about education to the point of neglecting your kids, but it doesn’t have to be all about your kids to the point of neglecting your education.”

Engelberg’s daughter, Sarit Fishbaine, first posted the photos of her father holding the adorable tot on Facebook.

“That’s what I call an ‘organizational behavior’ lesson!’” she wrote in Hebrew. “My father is the best in the world.”

According to Fishbaine, the mom stood up to leave class with the crying infant, but Engelberg insisted on sweeping up the child in his arms and continuing class “as if nothing had happened.”

According to Attia, who is married but does not yet have children, seeing graduate students bring children to class at Hebrew University is “common.”

“You can be a mom without compromising your education,” she said. “The professors understand that students are people with real lives, and it can be an ideal to prioritize both.”

According to Yahoo Parenting, Engelberg has received a slew of “love letters” since news of the occurrence started spreading.

Though it is less likely that students in the U.S. will start bring kids to class, the world’s overwhelming positive response to Engelberg is “encouraging,” said Attia.

“Change always starts somewhere,” she said.

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