Cilly Kugelmann was the Program Director and Vice Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin from September 2002 until March 2017. She had worked for the museum since May 2000, first as head of the Education department, and later also of the Science and Scholarship and Exhibitions departments.
Previously, Kugelmann worked at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt am Main, where she directed the education program, ran public relations, and curated historical exhibitions (1986-2000).
Born in Frankfurt am Main in 1947, Cilly Kugelmann lived in Israel for five years starting in 1966. She spent a year there as an agricultural laborer on a kibbutz in the Galilee, then went on to study art history and general history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She returned to Germany in 1971 and began a degree in educational sciences, sociology, and psychology. From 1972 to 1999, both during and after her studies, she organized political education conferences about Jewish history and the conflict in the Middle East.
After her degree, she gave courses on integration to ethnic German immigrants and asylum-seekers for the National Education Federation (1978–82). She then launched a self-help company for the chronically ill at the department of psychiatry and social psychiatry at the Elisabeth Foundation Hospital in Darmstadt (1982–1985), and taught education courses at Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg (1982-1984), where she collaborated on an empirical investigation into Sinti and Roma persecution during the Nazi era (1984–1986).
Kugelmann was part of the editorial board of the magazine Babylon, Contributions to Contemporary Jewish Living, published from 1980 to 2010. She has also been involved in the publication of several books on the post-war history of Jews in Germany and on antisemitism.