The Anselm Rothschild Memorial Song Competition provides an opportunity for teen songwriters to share their original music with their peers across North America. The NFTY Convention 2019 theme addressed the importance of focusing, taking charge, and making change in the world; music is a meaningful way to do just that.
We’re pleased to share that Jacob “Fishy” Fishman and Jordan “Schmidty” Schmidt of NFTY-STR are the winners of this year’s song competition! They performed their winning song “Lo Alecha (Build it Up!)” at NFTY Convention 2019 in Dallas, TX.
Jacob “Fishy” Fishman and Jordan “Schmidty” Schmidt are both singers, songleaders, and songwriters from Tampa, Florida and Miami, Florida respectively. Together, they make up FISHMIDTY, a Jewish band that loves to write modern pop Jewish music. As soon as they met at NFTY-STR Spring Kallah 2018, Fishy and Schmidty became best friends, a true NFTY friendship, and from there, their friendship has led to the music of FISHMIDTY.
The Hebrew “Lo alecha ham’lacha lig’mor” comes from Pirke Avot 2:16 and translates to “It is not your duty to complete the work; nor are you free to desist from it”. Fishy & Schmidty’s English lyric in their song expresses the idea that our work for justice, compassion and love will be made easier if we do it together, if we build on the strength of our commitment to one another.
In their own words, the NFTY-STR duo describes their tune:
“Our song, Lo Alecha (Build it Up!), directly relates to the theme of changing the world and, more specifically, repairing it. In our song, we addressed how repairing the world means not only making it better but also building ‘the world to its former glory’ before modern day’s war and destruction. We cannot ignore the fact that the world needs repairing, thus we must do something to fix it. Together, we have created a piece that we hope is an inspiration to others to go out and work towards repairing the world. We wanted this song to be fun while also getting the message across that this world is great, but it needs some help from its inhabitants. Both of us want to help repair the world and by writing this song, we are influencing others to help us in our fight to make things right.”