Was Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole Jewish?

No, the lyrical Hawaiian singer Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole, despite his name, was not a Jew.

IZ's recording with ukulele accompaniment of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World" is just one of the sweetest songs of all times. It reached #12 on Billboard's Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 and passed the 2 million paid downloads mark in the USA in September, 2009. It's well worth the 99 cents.

IZ died tragically at age 38. Wikipedia reports, "The Hawaii State Flag flew at half-staff on July 10, 1997, the day of Kamakawiwoʻole's funeral. His koa wood coffin lay in state at the Capitol building in Honolulu. He was the third person in Hawaiian history to be accorded this honor, and the only one who was not a government official."

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