President Reuven Rivlin meets with mothers of IDF North American lone soldiers. (Haim Zach / GPO)

“Your children are not really lone soldiers because they are with us,” President Rivlin told the mothers.

President Reuven Rivlin met Thursday at his residence in Jerusalem with a delegation of about 30 mothers of IDF lone soldiers from North America.

There are some 7,000 lone soldiers serving in the IDF, according to The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin.

Lone soldiers are most commonly referred to as those in the military who have come from other countries without their families to fulfill a desire to serve the Jewish State. However, lone soldiers also include Israelis from broken families who are also lacking the support of a family unit.

The delegation that visited the president on Thursday is in Israel as part of the Momentum program, which “creates a support network for mothers whose children serve far away in Israel, and in collaboration with Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs,” said a statement from the Presidential Residence.

The president thanked the mothers for supporting their sons and daughters despite the difficulties, allowing them to defend Israel and its borders.

“Your children are not really lone soldiers, because they are with us. My home is always open to them, and every holiday Nechama and I always hosted lone soldiers at our table. We say, ‘On your walls, Jerusalem, I have stationed guards.’ Your children are the guards, and not just of Jerusalem,” said Rivlin.

Rivlin’s wife Nechama died on June 4, a day before her 74th birthday.

Lori Palatnik, founder of Momentum, said that the “delegation of mothers of lone soldiers is a bridge between the new world of the soldiers, who have chosen to leave their homes to serve a higher purpose, and their mothers. By visiting [the Presidential Residence], they got to know up close another side of life in Israel,” she said.