Good Choices! Vol 2




1. Legacy
2. Brains Contain (It’s In Your Mind)
3. Justice
4. Turn and Turn and Learn
5. Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule
6. Want to Be Smart?
7. Be Kind
8. All of Israel
9. It Only Takes One
10. Kol HaKavod
11. You Get What You Get
12. How Good It Is, How Sweet It Is (Re-Released)

Good Choices! (Volume 2) Song Lyrics

1) Legacy

With my community I share a legacy
Its how we learn and grow from Jewish history
How you’ll remember me will be my legacy
So every choice I make should be made thoughtfully

A legacy is really special, right now we’re creating one
Made of ideas and memories, the good and bad and sad and fun
Shows how we have grown and learned, shared many celebrations
Each moment finding new teachers and friends, Live a life of many graduations


When you think of me I hope you think of A kind and respectful friend
Who can forgive and say ‘I’m sorry’ when its time to make amends
Who makes healthy choices, helps and visits those in need
Protects the earth and all creatures, ready to learn and teach and read


Jewish learning Matters, teach me how to speak up
Jewish learning matters, cause’ this world we can fix up
Jewish learning matters, each good deed will add up
Jewish learning matters, Each day as we grow up

2) Three Things (Al Shlosha)

Inspiration Text:
“Simon the Just … used to say, “Upon three things the world stands: On Torah, on (Divine) Work, and on Deeds of Loving Kindness.” -Pirke Avot 1:2

“Three Things” Activity:
Share with students that a wise, famous rabbi once said that there were three things that held the world together. Let students brainstorm and guess what they think the three things are that make our world stand. Document and display their ideas.

Teach students that the rabbi who was named “Simon the Just” said the world depended on learning the Torah, good work, and acts of loving kindness. Ask students if they participate in these activities, and affirm and praise them when they do these things. Encourage students to show their fingers while they count to three in the song.


The whole world, the whole wide world
Depends on 1-2-3 things.
The whole world, the whole wide world
Depends on 1-2-3 things.

Number 1: Learn Torah, let’s all learn Torah (x 2)


Number 2: Do good work, let’s all do good work (x 2)


Number 3: Act kind and loving, act kind and loving (x 2)


3) Grateful!

Inspiration Text:
“It Is good to give thanks to G-d and sing praises.” -Psalm 92

“Grateful!” Activity:
Ask students to think about all the things, people, and places in their lives that make them happy. When we feel thankful for what makes us happy, that is called being “grateful.”

Teach the students the chorus of the song “Grateful”: “I’m so full of thank yous, I feel great, I feel great, I feel grateful,” and incorporate the practice of “looking for thank yous (or phrase it “counting our blessings”) when students need cheering up.

In this tune, each student takes a turn completing a line. When you sing it in your community, add lines to the pre-chorus so that more people can participate in suggesting reasons to say thank you. This tunes lends itself easily to presentations. See example at


If I’m feeling mad or sad,
I know there’s a cure.
Make a list of “thank yous.”
I’ll feel better for sure.
G-d made all creation,
Said this is very good.
So, let’s share appreciation,
Like we know we should.

I’ll say thank you for _____________.
Say thank you for _______________.
I’ll say thank you for _____________.
Say thank you for _______________.

I’m so full of thank yous, I feel great!
I feel great, I feel grateful!
I’m so full of thank yous, I feel great!
I feel great, I feel grateful!

Celebrate “thanks-giving” every day,
Every moment to spare.
You’ll find reasons to share a smile,
When thank yous we share.
More than using manners,
Bigger than being polite,
Living a truly grateful way
Will help you sleep at night.



4) Justice

Inspiration Text:
“Justice, justice, you shall pursue.” Deuteronomy 16:20

Sometimes I think you’re hiding, Hearing news stories that are sad
Sometimes I wonder where you are, when I see bullies, I get mad
But then I remember each one of us has a job to do
Justice, I will find you. Justice, we will pursue


We’re gonna find it, We’re gonna create it
Justice for all, We’re gonna’ make it
We’re gonna do what is right to try to make our world more fair
To be righteous people and show how much we do care

I’m sad when I hear stories From our history, When people who were different Were treated unfairly
Some things have gotten better, but there is still more work to do
Justice, I will find you. Justice, we will pursue


It might teaching others how to open up their mind
It might mean speaking up and being the person who reminds
Though we’ve solved some problems, there are problems that are new
Justice, I will find you. Justice, we will pursue

5) Want To Be Smart?

Inspiration Text
“Who is wise? The one that learns from every person …” -Pirke Avot 4:1

“Want To Be Smart?” Activity
Ask students to brainstorm all of the things that people have taught them. Then encourage students to take turns teaching one another. Break into small groups or partners so that different students can share their unique knowledge. Remind them to show respect, taking turns listening and sharing. Affirm that they can be excellent teachers, and give examples of times that you (as an adult teacher) have learned important and interesting things from listening to other people and children. Teach them that a famous rabbi said that everyone can be smart, as long as they are willing to learn from everyone.


Do you want to be smart? Yes, I want to be smart.
Do you want to be wise? Yes, I want to be wise.
Do you think learning is fun? Yes, learning IS fun.
Then learn from everyone! Learn from everyone!

Just ask a teacher,
How do you learn each day
To help all your kiddos?
She’ll say her students show her the way!


Just ask a new mommy,
Who teaches her right now
To take care of her child?
She’ll say her baby shows her how!


Just ask your rabbis
How the ideas get in their mind.
They’ll say their inspirations
Come from many things of different kinds.

If you could ask a baby
How they learn so much,
They’d tell you they learn something
From everything they touch!

Eizehu, Eizehu
Chacham, Chacham
HaLomed, HaLomed
M’kol Adam M’kol Adam

6) Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule

Inspiration Text:
“What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole Torah; the rest is just commentary. Go and study it.” (Talmud Shabbat 31a)

A Rabbi named Hillel who was smart and kind
Gave us a rule to keep in our minds
This rule is so important, I want you to know
And think about it as you make choices today and as you grow


Treat other people how you want them to treat you
This rule is golden, this rule is true
Don’t to do others something that would make you feel bad
Think about other’s feelings, no matter if you’re happy or mad

Sometimes it might happen, that someone is not nice to you
They take your turn or use their hands, you know what to do
Think of Rabbi Hillel and make a better choice
teach that person this lesson, just use your voice


Rabbi Hillel told us one more thing after he shared his rule
He said to go and study, so learn at home and school
Treat other people nicely, and study every day
You’ll grow up smart kind and happy, living in Hillel’s way


7) All the World’s Animals

Inspiration Text:
“A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast.” -Proverbs 12:10

“All The World’s Animals” Activity:
Discuss the word protect with students and make sure that they understand the concept, providing simple and meaningful examples. (For example, ask “Who protects them? What does a seatbelt do? What does a bandage on a boo-boo do? What does sunscreen do?”)

Ask students to brainstorm examples of animals that are big, small, short, and tall. Stretch your arms to demonstrate big, small, short, and tall, each time you sing the words.

“All The World’s Animals” Activity 2:
Introduce the following song, which is an ode to all animals and our responsibilities to them–tza’ar ba’alei chayim. When thinking about animals, most children categorize them by their movements or sounds. The idea that animals work might be new to some students. Ask students if they know which animals work (for example, a horse that pulls a cart, a dog that sees for the blind or a dog that works with the police, or carrier pigeons that deliver messages). Provide visuals to illustrate these animals that work to help us.


All the world’s animals, big and small
All the world’s animals, short and tall
Living in the wild or living in a zoo
All the world’s animals, we’ll protect you

To all the animals swimming in the sea
We’ll try keep the ocean litter free (x 2)


To all the animals that like to fly
We’ll try to keep pollution out of the sky (x 2)


To the pets, dogs, and cats we love so much
We’ll show that we care with a gentle touch (x 2)


To all the world’s animals that work a lot
We hope you rest on Shabbat! (x2)


8) One Step at a Time

Inspiration Text:
“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.” -Pirke Avot 2:21

“One Step at a Time” Activity:
Many things that are done in life can be broken down into steps, which helps big jobs seem more doable. As students become familiar with the song “One Step at a Time,” brainstorm additional verses that students might add.

When students achieve the first step in a larger process, take a moment to celebrate that achievement as it relates to their larger goal. For example, when students learn a letter of the alphabet and the sound it makes, point out that they are closer to becoming readers.

Ask students how to make a new friend. Involve students in making friends from another class or ask adult leadership in your community to come and practice steps of friendship (a great way to involve clergy, board members, executive directors or other teachers with whom students don’t yet interact regularly).

Follow these steps or make your own!
Step 1: Meet a new person. This could involve shaking hands, giving high fives, and saying “Nice to meet you!”
Step 2: Share your names.
Step 3: Have a conversation and find something you share.
Step 4: Continue conversations, makes plans to spend time together, or simply greet one another by name when you see each other again.
Step 5: Think of your friend when you are reminded what you share or if you are feeling lonely.

Remind students when they are trying to do something new, it is sometimes easier to break it down into small steps instead of trying to achieve a big goal all at once.

One step at a time
Is how all things are made
So step by step, day by day, friends grow, build, learn, and play
One step at a time, one foot in front of the other
Is how we’ll build a better world, working with our sisters and brothers

A new friend joins our class one day
One step at a time
They learn the rules, show us new ways
One step at a time


A baby grows in our family
One step at a time
They start in a belly but will get big like me
One step at a time


We help members in our family
One step at a time
Together, reach out and to our whole community
One step at a time


A house starts with an empty piece of land
One step at a time
Build brick by brick ‘til a home will stand
One step at a time


9) Learning Torah

Inspiration Texts:
“Turn it, and turn it, for everything is in it. Reflect on it and grow old and gray with it. Don’t turn from it, for nothing is better than it.”-Rabbi Ben Bag Bag Mishnah Avot (v. 22, 23)

“Shammai would say: Make your Torah study a permanent fixture of your life. “ (Pirke Avot 1:15)

Learning torah never ends
The lessons goes on and on my friends
Learning torah never ends
So lets turn and turn and learn

The Torah is written on a scroll
Which means we turn to see
All the different stories,
From Jewish History


If I study Torah every day, with my community
I learn to treat other people the way I want them to treat me


Study leads to actions, so if I learn, I will know to do
All the good deeds commanded, because I am a Jew


The Torah gives us lessons, Tells us all good rules
So I understand how I should act at home, work, play and school


10) Think You Can

Inspiration Text:
“A righteous person can fall seven times and rise.” -Proverbs 24:16

“Think You Can” Activity:
Ask students to think about tasks that seem difficult or tough to them today and make a list. Ask students to think about tasks that used to be tough (for example, it was tough when they were babies to walk, talk, and feed themselves), but now seem simple. Throughout the year, see which tasks can be moved from the tough to the simple category.


When the job gets tough,
When the going gets rough,
Just think you can until you know you can
And then work through it
‘Cause you can do it!
When your job seems too hard, don’t be stopped by fear
That is the time, this is the time to persevere

It’s drop-off time at my new class, my parents say goodbye
I start to feel nervous, I start to wanna cry
I decide to be brave, take deep breaths and feel strong
They’ll be back to get me, ‘til then I’ll sing this song


I’ve been trying for weeks to get my shoes tied tight
Sometimes I feel frustrated, like I’ll never get it right
‘Til finally, tied them myself and now I feel so proud
It feels so good that I want to sing out loud!


Sometimes I ask for help, it can be a brave thing to do
For kids and for grown-ups when they try something new
It doesn’t really matter if you are young or old
If you don’t remember, you might need to be told…


11) All of Israel

Inspiration Text:
“All of Israel is Responsible For One Another” “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh” (Sanhedrin 27b).

All Of Israel Activity
Share with the students that Jewish people have a long tradition of taking care of one another, and share examples that might be relevant to your classroom (there is a huge variety of possibilities. For example, discuss an organization like PJ library that helps Jewish families get books and music or share with students the fact that Israel will help any Jewish person establish a home in Israel. Send a conversation starter home with students, asking parents to finish the sentence “The Jewish community has helped me by _______________.” The next day, reinforce the students’ understanding by asking them to share their family members’ responses, writing a list of all the ways that the Jewish community has helped the family members of their classroom community.
As appropriate, reinforce the meaning of the Hebrew phrase “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh B’ Zeh” which means “all of Israel is responsible for one another.”

We all seen the same stars
We all share the same start
Time and distance don’t matter,
Jews are never far apart

All of Israel is responsible for one another
Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh B’ Zeh
When we band together
We can last forever
Kol Yisrael Arevim

One by one we’ve been lonesome
Together stand tall
Right now seems unimportant ‘til we remember it all

From Sinai to Babylon
Berlin to the Lower East Side
We share a rich history we can’t afford to hide


When our world is “Kol Arevim”
We can worship as one
We feel as we’re family
Each of us, a daughter or son


12) Kol Hakavod

“Kol Hakavod” Activity:
Teach students that kol hakavod is a Hebrew phrase that praises a job well done, literally translating to “all the respect.”

Look for opportunities to use the phrase by finding people who have done something well. Go on a “field trip” around the school. Encourage administrators, teachers, and students when a student spots something well done by telling them “Kol hakavod!”

Use this tune whenever a student has done a good job and has earned respect. Once the song is familiar to the students, ask students to help you sing. If you use the song often enough, simply start singing and many students will naturally join in!


Kol hakavod!
Kol hakavod!
You’ve earned respect
You’ve done great things
You’ve earned respect
It makes me wanna sing
Kol hakavod!
Kol hakavod!

13) Gonna Make Peace

Inspiration Text:
“May The One who makes peace in high places make peace upon us” – found in the Sim Shalom blessing of the Amidah

“Gonna Make Peace” Activity:
Ask students the following questions:
What does the word peace mean?
What parts of your life or our world need more peace?
What can you do about increasing peace when you grow up?
What can you do about increasing peace today?

Show students this project made by elementary-age kids at Temple Emanu-El in Palm Beach Island: Introduce the video by directing attention to the action words of the song. For example, “We are going to watch a short movie created by Jewish children who share a lot of things in common with you. They made this movie using this song to share their ideas about the good work they could help do in their world. I wonder if you could do some of the same things that they want to try …”

After viewing, ask students to recollect the ideas shared by the children and then add more ideas. When students perform these actions, commend them on their work. For example, “Wow! I admire the way you’re using kind words to talk to each other. You’re helping make the world a more peaceful place.” Or “Thanks for making the world a more peaceful place by comforting a friend.”

Have students brainstorm ideas regarding how they can fix the world today. Collect the ideas, displaying them in a visible location (for example, on a whiteboard, smart board, or poster) and write them in short phrases that include a verb and noun. Ask students to choose a goal to illustrate. Give each child a page and then bind his or her art into a book, display it as a bulletin board, or make it into a slideshow. Let the illustrations guide the class as they sing their own version of the song. Sing the song, inserting their goals into the melody in place of “make peace.” Sing as many turns of the song, in this way, as there are ideas. Consider making your own presentation like the above video.


We’re gonna make peace in this world, peace in this world, peace in this world.
We’re gonna share love in this world, love in this world, love in this world.
We’re gonna pray for this world, pray for this world, pray for this world.
Please G-d, make peace in this world, peace in this world, peace in this world.

Oseh Shalom, Bimromav hu yaaseh shalom aleinu. (x2)