Look elsewhere Sir, – Regarding “Israelis unconcerned with rise in religious IDF officers” (September 15), Dr. Reuven Gal of the Kinneret Institute is concerned that the “growing phenomenon [of religious IDF officers] could raise predicaments for the military – for example with the possibility of more refusal of orders.”Perhaps Dr. Gal should be more concerned by the parallel decline in officers and combat soldiers – indeed, soldiers of any kind – from among the decadent offspring of upper-middle-class Tel Aviv-Herzliya. Not long ago, an IDF statistician quoted in the media said that fully 35% of Tel Aviv area teens manage to shirk IDF service. The children of the secular elite are often spoiled, indolent and so bereft of any comprehension of what Israel is about that their indifference toward its security is hardly surprising.The subpar birthrate and belated parenting among secular Israelis versus the high birthrate and early marriage of those who are religious – coupled with the Jewish illiteracy of the former versus the profound knowledge and connectivity of the latter – virtually guarantee that Israel’s future is firmly in the hands of the religious.If the secular sector is unhappy about this, it can easily change things by being less self-indulgent, beefing up the education of its offspring both at home and at school, and, above all, by making more children in the first place.J.J. GROSS Jerusalem Yes to practitioners Sir, – As a nurse practitioner, or NP (also known as an advanced-practice nurse, or APN), one of only two who legally practice in Israel under US licenses, I was very pleased to see the article about advanced-patient-care practitioners (PAs and NPs) and the potential they can play in helping Israel’s desperate medical staff (“Filling the holes in our health system,” September 12).I believe more emphasis is needed to expand the definition of a nurse practitioner, which draws from a more readily available resource in Israel – nurses.NPs in the US earn similar salaries to PAs but have stricter academic criteria – a Masters or doctoral degree.Many NPs work autonomously and are often not required to have direct oversight by a physician.The advanced nursing skills combined with superior knowledge allows for independent decision-making, more developed analytical skills and better patient relationships.NPs work in every imaginable field, including anesthesiology, primary care, oncology, pediatrics, surgery, etc., and have been proven with hundreds of studies over decades to be effective, safe and even loved by the patients they care for. Until programs can be certified locally, government recognition of experienced, professional, foreign-licensed NPs and PAs would help alleviate the severe shortages in medical care that exist in the country, especially in the periphery.There are already advanced-practice nurses in Israel (although not officially recognized as such) – midwives, kibbutz nurses and nurse specialists in pain management, diabetes and wound care. They need to be more uniformly and formally educated and recognized, and placed in roles where they can work more independently with established medical teams.Developing NP roles from these existing roles may be a start toward a positive change in the Israeli health care system.ELIANA M. AARON, MSN, APN-C Nof Ayalon CORRECTION “Soros to give Human Rights Watch $100 million over 10 years” (September 8) should not have included the phrase “contrary to its prior reports.” The Post regrets the error.