Jerusalem’s Hebrew University professor Dr. Sydney Engelberg is being called the newest feminist hero.

The devoted Israeli lecturer encourages his students to come to class – even when family obligations make that difficult. For years, the 67-year old professor, and grandfather of five, routinely encouraged his students to bring their children to classes on organizational management at the university. (His grateful students even nurse their babies when necessary during his lectures.)

During one recent class, a baby started crying and his mother got up to leave the lecture room when Dr. Engelberg asked her to stay. Taking the baby in his arms, he soothed the infant and continued lecturing without missing a beat, holding the now-calm baby.

After a student snapped a photo, Dr. Engelberg’s daughter, Sarit Fishbaine, posted the picture on her Facebook account, commenting “that’s what I call organizational behavior!” Within days, her post went viral, garnering tens of thousands of hits and turning the unassuming Dr. Engelberg into a media sensation. His photo, holding the baby, was labeled “The Baby Whisperer” and re-sent countless times.

Speaking four days after her now-famous post, Sarit noted that while her family was surprised by all the attention, she wasn’t shocked by her dad’s behavior. He always taught “education is not only about teaching dry facts but about being a role model and teaching values.”

It turns out that other Israeli professors feel the same way. After Dr. Engelberg’s photo went viral, the Israeli Student Union Facebook page was inundated with posts from students showing similar stories. “I’m part of a great phenomenon… Dr. Orit Gilor taking my daughter to burp her,” student Hadass Arussi wrote of a Beit Berl College lecturer in one typical post. One social media site was forced to issue a correction after showing a picture of what they said was Dr. Engelberg. It turned out the picture they used was of another Israeli teacher - Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Betzalel Reichard – holding a different student’s baby while teaching instead.

“Israel is a very familial society,” explains Vice Provost Jonathan Kaplan of the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University. “It is not at all strange for young mothers to bring children to classes. Babies are often brought to weddings or formal occasions, and during the school holidays it is not uncommon to see children running through the halls of office buildings or university departments.”

As the now famous photo of Dr. Engelberg continues to circulate on-line, thousands of people across the world have chimed in to sing his praises. “It takes a village.” one woman commented. “This is a professor who truly cares about the education of his students,” wrote another.

The now-famous photo of him dandling an adorable baby reminds us that sometimes even small gestures can have a great impact.