An Israeli Professor’s Baby-Friendly Policy

The Fellowship  |  May 19, 2015

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So much of the time, our modern digital world brings us stories that are sad, shocking, and unsavory. But this story from CNN – about an Israeli professor’s caring touch – will surely put a smile on your face:

In the past week, Jerusalem psychology professor Sydney Engelberg has gained Internet fame, fielded interview requests from all over the world and earned devotion from parents of infants everywhere, all because of a simple gesture: Holding a student’s fussy baby while continuing to teach class.

Engelberg, 67, became a viral sensation last week after a former student went onto an Israeli social media site and shared a photo of the professor in front of a white board mid-lecture, holding a baby in star-covered footie pajamas.

Engelberg’s daughter, Sarit Fishbaine, saw the photo and proudly shared it on her Facebook page with a message in Hebrew that ended, “My father is the best in the world…”

This particular moment doesn’t stand out in his mind because it happens fairly often. Just last week, he said, another mother asked if she could bring her baby “who wasn’t feeling 100%,” and when the child became restless, Engelberg said he picked up the baby and walked around so everyone could continue learning. The student could continue to participate in a group exercise, and the rest of the class wouldn’t be negatively affected.

“I would say there is one or more babies in one or more classes every single week,” he said.

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