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Hotel owner leaves over $2 million to his employees

Veteran staff at King Solomon Hotels in Jerusalem and Tiberias each receive $1,000 for every year they’ve worked there

The King Solomon Hotel in downtown Jerusalem. (Screen capture Channel 2)
The King Solomon Hotel in downtown Jerusalem. (Screen capture Channel 2)

Employees of the King Solomon Hotels in Jerusalem and Tiberias found out this week they had a very generous employer, who left them a shared inheritance of over two million dollars.

Owner Gilbert Luzon, who died earlier this year, detailed in his will which employees would enjoy the money, and the sums grow the more time an employee has worked in the hotels.

All employees with more than five years’ experience were eligible to receive part of Luzon’s inheritance, and they get $1,000 per year of employment. Thus employees with the very minimum requirement get $5,000 (nearly NIS 20,000), and there were plenty who get a great deal more.

Some of the lucky employees were interviewed by Channel 2 on Thursday, with their voices altered to hide their identity.

“More than 2 million dollars, that’s what he spent,” marveled one female employee of the Jerusalem hotel. “There’s people there washing the dishes, they’ve been there for 20 years, and you know, they get 20,000 dollars, just like that.”

“They all got excited, it’s like winning the lottery,” she said.

Another employee was interviewed wearing a blue sanitary worker’s shirt, sweeping the parking lot. Speaking with his head outside the camera’s view, the man said there “are many veteran employees here, 17, 20, 29, 23 [years]…” and they all got cheques with sums corresponding to their number of years at the hotel – times $1,000.

The managers of the hotels were concerned about news of the inheritance causing trouble: “Do you know what something like that does in other hotels? This can make the entire staff in the hotel get on their feet, they will all be excited, they will all want some,” a senior manager – also with altered voice – told the station.

The Luzon family had not publicized the gifts. Luzon’s son told the TV station the will was “a private matter between us and our employees; it is nobody else’s business.”

Asked by Channel 2 whether he had received his cheque, one man replied affirmatively. “What can I say? It is a blessing.”

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