Simon and Maxime LIssak

As a boy, Simon grew up in a home environment that rejected all forms of organized religion. His father was raised in a Jewish family who had escaped first the Russian pogroms and then the Nazi occupation of Poland. Like so many Jews of his generation, by the time Simon was born his father was a committed secular atheist. His mother had one Roman Catholic parent and one Anglican and when they fell in love and sought to marry, both churches refused to hold the wedding ceremony. Therefore, they had to move to a new town and start a new identity.

Although he grew up in a home environment that rejected all forms of organized religion, Simon had always considered himself half-Jewish and was very proud of his father’s family history. This, however, was never really about faith but just part of his identity.

After graduating from the University College of London, Simon worked in publishing and finally the television industry where he ran his own hire business. Despite some business success and a stable marriage, in his late thirties, he had a nagging sense that there must be more to life than just the material, but he had no idea what to look for.

In 2004, things began to change with the birth of his first son Felix when he seriously began to question the meaning of life. While not actively searching for God, God was certainly searching for him! After a series of seemingly unconnected encounters with Christians, Simon finally called out to God for answers and had an encounter with the living God that transformed his life.

Soon after his profession of faith in Jesus as Messiah, Simon was baptized in his local church where he is still a committed member. He became an immediate witness to people on the street which naturally led him to a large Jewish community in Golders Green where he had worked as a teenager. His passion for Jewish missions grew which eventually led to his serving with another Jewish mission agency as a full-time missionary. There his passion for personal evangelism, especially among the ultra-orthodox, was kindled. He dedicated himself to engaging with Jewish people wherever he found himself.

Now on staff with Chosen People Ministries, Simon’s desire is to continue to grow the work in Golders Green, to continue weekly outreach in Stamford Hill, the Ultra-Orthodox community in North London, and partner closely with the pastors and churches in these Jewish neighborhoods in outreach.

Simon is married to Maxime. They have two sons, Felix and Jacob.