The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Lena Dunham

b. May 13, 1986

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Lena Dunham until we are able to commission a full entry.

Lena Dunham.

Courtesy of Autumn de Wilde.

Lena Dunham became the first woman to win a Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series for her HBO series Girls, for which she writes, directs, produces and plays the lead character. Dunham earned a degree in creative writing from Oberlin in 2008 and began writing and directing herself and friends in movies. Two years later, she won Best Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest Festival for her film Tiny Furniture. In 2012 she began work on Girls, which was nominated for eight Emmys and won two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Comedy Series and one for Dunham as Best Lead Actress. The show, often hailed as an updated, grittier version of Sex and the City, follows the misadventures of four young women struggling to make it in New York. In 2014, Dunham published her first book, an essay collection called Not that Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned.”

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lena Dunham." (Viewed on May 31, 2023) <>.


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