"Challenges of United Jerusalem" was the title of a November 6, afternoon conference held at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, Israel. The conference was a launch event for The Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies (JISS).

All the speeches were in Hebrew, with English translation available. Minister of Environmental Protection and of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage MK Zeev Elkin spoke on "the future of the city." 

Australians Anne and Greg Rosshandler endowed the chair of JISS Senior Fellow, former Major General Yaakov Amidror, The Rosshandler Family was a sponsor of this Jerusalem conference along with with the Municipality of Jerusalem. 

Chief of Jerusalem Police District Superintendent Yoram Levy, was accompanied to the Begin Center auditorium by members of police force. In his remarks, Levy, stressed that they work for "all the people." As for stone-throwing youths, Levy said he is more concerned about those "surrounding them" adding the "story is long and time is short." 

A major segment of the program was an interview of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat with JISS Vice-President David M.Weinberg. Barkat repeated his theme of attracting tourism and young people to the city. Barkat spoke of the growing startup culture and business development and progress in Jerusalem.

Audience members were encouraged to ask questions. The Mayor was surrounded by people wanting to talk with him during a break before the concluding panel.  

Dr Efraim Inbar, JISS President, used a three-dimensional map of Israel in illustrating the strategic importance of Jerusalem to Israel's security during his remarks.

Dov Kalmanovitch Municipal Council Member and Council Member Yael Antebi were seated in the front row. Also in the audience were Sharon and Avraham Koslowsky, who made aliyah from Baltimore and several former Marylanders. 

According to their website JISS: seeks to strengthen Israel by advancing a defense and diplomatic discourse that is realist. Through policy-oriented research, educational conference activity, and outreach to government, military, academia, media and the public, the institute gives expression to a conservative strategic worldview.

Among the principles underlying the institute’s activity are the Jewish People’s historic connection to the land of Israel as a central component of strategic worldview; the salience of security in diplomatic agreements; rejection of unilateral Israeli moves that strengthen adversaries; the importance of strategic cooperation with like-minded allies; the imperative of Israel being able to defend itself by itself in all eventualities; and, critically, the importance of united Jerusalem to Israel’s security and destiny.

A central focus for JISS is training a next generation of national security specialists, a younger cohort from the Israeli academic, intelligence, military and foreign policy communities, in the best intellectual traditions of Western strategic thinking and of Zionism.