Last week, Mindy Levine, the wife of Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, hosted parents and family members of "Lone Soldiers" serving in the IDF at a ball game in NYC. This was a celebration of young men and women who have traveled to Israel far from their families overseas in order to serve their country.
Also hosting the event were Nefesh b'Nefesh founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart, as well as Noya Govrin of Nefesh b'Nefesh's Lone Soldiers program and Friends of the IDF.
"We want to tell parents how much we appreciate them, how much we love them," said Govrin. "It's not easy to be the parents of a lone soldier; there are a lot of challenges, and we want them to know that they have a home here with us."
The challenges were something all the parents mentioned, the stress, the worry - but also the pride.
"I'm here to support our son who's a lone soldier in the Israeli army," said Yoni. "As parents, we're nervous but at the same time incredibly proud."
"Obviously I'm so proud that he's a lone soldier," said Esti, the mother of Eytan, who is serving in the Golani brigade and is currently in Hevron. "But I'm also extraordinarily stressed! I follow the Israeli news more than the American news."
"It's an honor to be in the same room as them," said Levine. "When you think about what they're going through, knowing that their son or daughter is across the ocean serving Israel - there's a lot of risk involved.
"We wanted to give them this opportunity to share, to connect, because they all miss their children so much, but they're also so proud of them, and we look forward to doing this every year."
Do the parents agree? "We relate on a different level," says Guy, the father of Eden, whose younger sister is now thinking of following in her footsteps. "It's amazing to be here."